Al Boscov first to be inducted into retailers' hall of fame
Gov. Tom Corbett and former Gov. Ed Rendell may not see eye to eye on many issues, but they came together Tuesday night in Wyomissing to honor a mutual friend: Al Boscov.
Al Boscov is the first inductee of the Pennsylvania Retailer's Association Hall of Fame.
"When the day comes when I feel I should retire, because like the pope, he doesn't feel like he's up to it, I may reach that point, too," said Boscov. "I'm not comparing myself to the pope, by the way."
Boscov tried to retire, but he ended up saving the Exeter Township-based department store chain from bankruptcy and bought it back with the help of loans and grants .
"I think most of them have been paid back," said Boscov, who also pays it forward with Our City Reading.
Boscov said he learned from his father, a Russian immigrant who came to the United States in 1911.
"Someone told him to come to Reading because everyone spoke Yiddish," said Boscov. "It wasn't Yiddish. It's Pennsylvania Dutch, but it's almost the same."
Boscov said his dad sent him to Drexel University in Philadelphia.
"I came back with some ideas to see if we could change Boscov's a little bit," said Boscov.
That little bit created the Boscov's brand, and Al Boscov still manages to bring projects to the city where it all started, including a new four-star hotel.
"The Hilton Doubletree I hope to start in 60 days," said Boscov. "We're just about there. The last $2.5 million we needed came from Gov. Corbett."
Boscov said the Pennsylvania governors may sing his praises at the reception, but he wants to thank them.
"My legacy is living up to what my father expected, to pay back and be appreciative of all the wonderful people, achieve what I've achieved," said Boscov.
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