Bruce B. Dayton, the last of the five brothers whose retailing empire included department stores, some of the nation’s first enclosed shopping malls and the Target discount chain, died on Friday Novermber 13 2015 at his home in Orono, Minn., near Minneapolis. He was 97.
Mr. Dayton inherited what became the Dayton-Hudson Corporation from his grandfather and father. Besides the department store chain Dayton’s and Target, the company also started the B. Dalton Bookseller chain.
Praised for his financial acumen, Mr. Dayton graduated from selling shirts in the family’s Minneapolis department store immediately after World War II to company treasurer in 1946, when he was only 28. In 1969 he became chief executive, retaining the financial reins, and chairman.
He gave up management of the company in 1977 and left the board in 1983.
Bruce Bliss Dayton was born on Aug. 16, 1918, in Minneapolis to G. Nelson Dayton and the former Grace Bliss. He graduated from Yale University in 1940 and served in the Army.
In addition to his son Mark, Mr. Dayton is survived by his wife, the former Ruth Stricker; three other children from his first marriage, to Gwendolen Brandt, Brandt, Lucy and Anne Dayton; two stepchildren, Kim Griffin and Mark Stricker; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.