Businessman. Inventor. Philanthropist.
Today we celebrate the rich history of the man who invented the blue jean.
Levi Strauss was born on February 26, 1829, in Buttenehim, Bavaria.
In 1846, his family emigrated to the United States and settled in New York, where Strauss began working for the family’s dry goods business.
As news of the California Gold Rush traveled, Strauss found himself heading west. Although he didn’t strike gold, Strauss did establish his own successful dry goods business in San Francisco in 1853.
Strauss partnered with tailor Jacob Davis to create a pair of durable, riveted work pants. On May 20th, 1873, Strauss and Davis were granted a patent, and blue jeans were born.
Strauss was also a great philanthropist, contributing to the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Home, the Eureka Benevolent Society and the Hebrew Board of Relief, as well as funding 28 scholarships to the University of California, Berkeley. Much of this support has continued to this day.