Longtime Sealy Top Executive Howard Haas Dies

former president and CEO of Sealy Howard Haas headshot

Howard Haas

Howard Green Haas, the former president and chief executive officer of Sealy Corp. from 1967 to 1986, died in June in Chicago at age 92.

Among his career accomplishments was the growth of Sealy’s revenues from $32 million to $550 million. Under his tenure, the mattress maker, now a part of Lexington, Kentucky-based Tempur Sealy International, integrated 34 independent licensees into a unified entity and launched the U.S. mattress industry’s first national advertising campaign.

In 2012, Haas also was named to the American Furniture Hall of Fame.

Upon leaving Sealy, Haas became an adjunct professor of management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in the Strategic Business Leadership program.

In 1993, he co-authored with Bob Tamarkin the business book, “The Leader Within: An Empowering Path of Self-Discovery.”

According to an obituary published by the family in the Chicago Tribune, Haas was a highly decorated veteran of World War II, who as a pilot and first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force (at that time the Army Air Forces) flew more than 50 missions over occupied Europe, earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Army’s Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters—the equivalent of multiple commendations for meritorious service. After the war, Haas attended the University of Michigan.

During his business career, he served on many companies’ boards of directors and was an active member of the community. He was a founding member of the Reform Jewish Congregation Solel of Highland Park, Illinois, and of the Birchwood Club country club, also in Highland Park.

Haas is survived by his wife of 67 years Carolyn (Kaye), daughter Jody Haas-Wolfson, son Jonathan, son-in-law Ross Wolfson, daughter-in-law Anna, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The family requests memorial contributions to Congregation Solel, 1301 Clavey Road, Highland Park, IL 60035; Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1155 E. 58th St., Chicago, IL 60637; or to the charity of your choice.

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