The Karl Eller School of Management at the University of Arizona is named for alumnus and entrepreneur Karl Eller (BSBA Marketing ’52), the founder of Eller Outdoor Advertising, Combined Communications Corporation, and Eller Media Company. He is also past CEO of Columbia Pictures Communications and Circle K Corporation,
Eller, a businessman and entrepreneur with a gift for squeezing triumph out of failure, was born June 20, 1928, in Chicago.
When he was 9 years old, Eller, his mother and older sister, Elaine, moved to Tucson at the insistence of Elaine, who was 17 and had enrolled at the University of Arizona partly to help manage her asthma.
Eller went on to attend Tucson High School, where he played fullback for the school football team and made friends he would keep for decades to come.
After his high-school graduation in 1946, Eller joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Japan for two years. Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, which Congress had passed just two years before Eller entered the service, he returned to Tucson and enrolled in UA. It was there Eller met the woman who would become his wife, Joan "Stevie" Stevens, to whom he remained married until his death.