Corporations: Caught in the Rapids

The only thing that excites Wall Street more than a big winner is a mystery man. On both counts, suave Meshulam Riklis, 39, has held the Street's fascinated gaze in recent years. An Israeli immigrant who as recently as 1951 was a teacher of Hebrew in a Minneapolis boys' school, Riklis has used his rare skill for plotting complex take-over deals to put together a new retailing empire. Through his aptly named base company, Rapid-American, Riklis controls McCrory Corp., whose 1,300 stores (McCrory, H. L. Green, National Shirt, Lerner) and 1962 sales of $554 million rank it fourth among...

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