The Boneyard

Evansville Born - Jack Weil
America's Oldest CEO and Western Wear Giant

He is to western wear what Henry Ford is to the car.

Jack A. Weil (born March 28, 1901) is the founder and CEO of the Denver-based Western clothing manufacturer Rockmount Ranch Wear and is believed to be the oldest working CEO in the United States.

Weil was born in Evansville, Indiana in 1901. In 1926, Weil (also known as Papa or "Papa Jack") married Beatrice Baum, and two years later the couple moved to Denver, Colorado with their newborn son, Jack B. Seven years later, their daughter, Jane, was born, and in 1946, Weil rented a space at 1626 Wazee Street in Denver and set about trying to create a fashionable yet practical identity for the western ranchers of the region. Rockmount's fashions were featured prominently in the 2005 Academy Award-winning film Brokeback Mountain.

Weil is well-known for coining the phrase "The West is not a place, it is a state of mind." He was the first person to put snaps on Western shirts, patented the saw-tooth pocket design seen on many Western shirts, and is credited with inventing the bolo tie.

Although his wife died in 1990, Weil's two children are still alive, as are his five grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, the oldest of whom currently attends Yale University.

He claims to have quit smoking at age 60, drinking at age 90 and eating red meat at 100. However, he says he has a shot of Jack Daniel's twice a week for "medicinal purposes," to keep his blood thin.

Click for Memorable Jack Weil quotes

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Source: Wikipedia

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Source: Wikipedia

Evansville Boneyard Fall Issue 2007