Executives: The Pinch-Penny Philanthropist

His grandmother lived 101 years and his mother reached 103. Sebastian Spering Kresge, grounding his hope on heredity and a lifelong abstinence from whisky and tobacco, confidently expected to equal them, and he nearly did. But last week, nine months short of his hundredth birthday, Kresge died of pneumonia and complications that doctors gently described as "old age." For the founder of the S.S. Kresge Co.'s far-reaching chain of variety stores, not attaining the century mark was one of the few failures in a long and productive life.

About to turn 99...

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