Thomas George "Tom" Stemberg (January 18, 1949 – October 23, 2015) was an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He was a pioneer of the office supplies superstore industry, most notably for founding office supply retail chain Staples Inc. with Leo Kahn.
Stemberg was born on January 18, 1949 in Orange, New Jersey, the son of immigrants from Vienna, Austria, Erika (Ratzer) and Oscar Michael Stemberg. His father was a lawyer who became a restaurateur. His father was Jewish and his mother was Catholic.
When Stemberg was 13, his father died and he moved with his mother to Vienna. He was a student at the American International School from 1962 to 1967. He later returned to the United States to attend Harvard College, graduating in 1971 with a B.S. in Physical Science. At Harvard College, he headed on managerial roles at Harvard Student Agencies, a hands-on organization of campus businesses, and the Harvard Independent, a newly established student newspaper. In 1973, Stemberg graduated from the Harvard Business School receiving his M.B.A. as a George F. Baker Scholar. Hailed as a retail pioneer and innovator, he developed and launched the first line of generic food sold in the US and revolutionized the office supply business by eliminating wholesalers and selling directly to customers through his warehouse-like superstores. He adapted a simple objective that later became the foundation of Staples Inc. He always emphasized that his "priority is saving people money."..
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