CLOTHING: Biggest of the Big Four

A Fourth-of-July orator, so the oft-told story goes, was delivering a speech about Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln when, ready for the windup, he forgot their names. Glancing quickly toward the notes stuffed in his inside coat pocket, the flustered speaker hurriedly praised "those great American statesmen, Hart Schaffner and Marx."

Chicago's 57-year-old Meyer Kestn-baum, who has probably heard the yarn more often than anyone else, still laughs every time he hears it; it is part of his job. As president of Hart Schaffner & Marx, he heads the biggest men's ready-to-wear company...

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