Edward Brennan, who started as a sales associate at a Sears store in Wisconsin and rose to become chairman and CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Co. in the mid-1980s, has died at age 73.
The Chicago native served on a variety of boards, including McDonald's Corp., 3M Corp. and Exelon Corp. He also previously served as chairman of the board of trustees at DePaul University and Marquette University, his alma mater.
Brennan was the third generation of his family to work for the company, Sears said. His grandfather worked with founder Richard Sears and his father, four uncles and a brother all worked as Sears buyers.
In January 1981 he was elected chairman and chief executive officer of the company's retail group and helped handle the acquisition of Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. and Coldwell, Banker & Company. From 1984 to 1986 Brennan was corporate president and chief operating officer.
In 1986 he became chairman of the board and CEO. He retired from Sears and its board of directors on Aug. 9, 1995.