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Former Sears Chairman Brennan Passes Away

Burr Ridge, Ill. — Edward A. Brennan, chairman and ceo of Sears, Roebuck & Co. during its reign as the country's largest retailer, died Dec. 27. He was 73.

Brennan's career began as a salesman at a Sears store. He was one of a third generation of Brennans who worked for Sears. He rose through the ranks to become chairman and ceo of Sears Merchandise Group, as well as a member of the senior executive team that brought the company into the financial services business with the acquisition of Dean Witter Reynolds and Coldwell Banker, as well as the introduction of the Discover Card.

He was promoted to corporate president and coo in 1984, and was elevated to chairman and ceo in 1986.

Under his leadership, Sears embarked on a major renovation of many of its stores in the "Stores of the Future" campaign. Under this banner, the stores focused on apparel, home and automotive categories, and championed key brands.

Brennan retired from Sears and its board in 1995, then served on a number of corporate boards.

He is survived by his wife, six children, 19 grandchildren and two brothers, one of whom, Bernard, was the chairman and ceo of the former Montgomery Ward.