Jerry Shaw, one of the businessmen who helped build Shaw’s Jewelers into a 77-store retail powerhouse, died Saturday in Boca Raton, Fla., at age 92.
Shaw was chairman and chief executive of Shaw’s from 1953 to 1987, taking over for his father, Henry Shaw, who launched the company in 1919 in Akron, Ohio. Jerry and his three brothers ran the business after Henry’s death, growing it into Sterling Jewelers Inc., one of the largest specialty jewelry store companies in the United States.
In 1987, the London-based Signet Group bought Sterling Jewelers, which now boasts 1,307 stores in 50 states. Jerry remained chairman emeritus in retirement and he and his wife, Patsy, divided their time between Akron and Florida.
Jerry grew up around the jewelry industry, but didn’t take an active role in his family’s company until after World War II, where he served as a master sergeant in the Army Air Corps. (He was awarded the Bronze Star.) Prior to the war, Jerry had studied music at the Julliard School in New York City.
His funeral will be held at Akron’s Shaw Jewish Community Center—which was named for Jerry after he donated $3 million to the organization—on April 25.