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Madison founder Schwartz grew with industry

Louis Schwartz, founder of Madison Industries, passed away on July 4 at the age of 87. His long career mirrored the growth and development of the home textiles industry.

Born in a small farming village in Romania, he immigrated to New York shortly after World War I. After graduating from James Madison High School, he went to work for his father's business, J. Schwartz Dry Goods, a store on Eldridge Street, on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Upon his father's death in the mid 1930s, Schwartz took the reigns and began sewing pillow cases and comforter covers for the large immigrant urban population, naming the business after his high school.

He moved with the industry to Broadway and Canal Street, then in the 1950s expanded the operation by moving production to Sumter, SC, next door to Santee Print Works. Schwartz established knitting and tufting operations there and, in 1969, in Dalton, GA. He retired in the mid-1970s and soon found a new vocation: breeding, training and racing standard-bred horses, an activity he pursued well into his 80s.

The company he started is now in its fourth generation, run by his sons Michael, president and ceo, and Jay, vp and coo, with offices in New York and South Carolina.

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