Spring Cleaning

Like an oriental potentate who has beheaded all of his viziers, iron-fisted Sewell Lee Avery sat last week in lonely splendor in his paneled throne room at Chicago's Montgomery Ward & Co., Inc. For one day along the hushed executive corridors he could knock on any door and find no one at home. In Ward's top command, everyone else had quit. There was nobody left but old Sewell, who had once said: "I'll be here until I'm six feet under."

Avery, now 75 years old, had not planned his loneliness. When he goaded...

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