By Johnny Jackson
Stanley K. Tanger, the founder and director of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc., died Oct. 23, at the age of 87. Officials with the company are reporting that Tanger's death was due to natural causes.
Tanger founded the company in 1981, and opened the brand-name factory outlet strip center in Burlington, N.C., according to company officials.
He was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" in Real Estate by INC. Magazine in 1994, and quickly grew the company to 27 outlet shopping centers by 1995. His was named among the "Top 50 Public Companies" in North Carolina in 1996.
The company founder retired from an active role in the business in August 2009. He resigned from the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors in September of that year, but was a member of the board until his death.
"Stanley Tanger's contributions to the industry and to the company he founded will be remembered by all," commented Jack Africk, Interim Non-Executive Board of Directors Chairman for Tanger. "His bold, dynamic leadership style, enabled him to lead the company to outstanding and consistent returns during his tenure."
Tanger's son, Steven B. Tanger, assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2009. He joined the company in 1986 as Executive Vice President and had been President and Chief Operating Officer since 1995.
"My father's legacy will be carried forward by all of us at Tanger Outlet Centers," said Steven B. Tanger, in a written statement. "He was an industry pioneer and had a vast knowledge of the company and the outlet industry. His vision and entrepreneurship made the company what it is today, one of the most successful REITs [Real Estate Investment Trusts] in the outlet industry."
Stanley Tanger was considered a lifelong philanthropist, donating to Duke University in Durham, N.C., as well as supporting the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duke Eye Center and the Iron Dukes, said company officials.
He was a major donor to the Moses Cone Cancer Care Center expansion, and was honored by the American Cancer Society with the prestigious "Excalibur Award" seven times, from 1994 to 2004.
A World War II pilot, Stanley Tanger earned many accolades within Greensboro, N.C., according to Mike Buescher, director of marketing and promotions for Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.
For his leadership and public service, Buescher noted, Stanley Tanger received the McIver Medal from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2010, along with the Ben Cone Award from the Greensboro Jewish Federation.
Buescher said in a recent news release about Stanley Tanger's death, that the former Tanger Board of Directors chairman donated Lake Tanger to the Old North State Council for the North Carolina Boy Scout Camp in 2000. Stanley Tanger was an Eagle Scout, and was awarded the Silver Beaver Award in 2004.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Doris; their children, Steven Tanger, Jane Black, and Susan and Joseph Nehmen; their grandchildren, Marcie and Jordan Pantzer, Laurie Nehmen, Jason and Amy Black, Stacy Black, Schuster Tanger and Andrew Tanger; and their great-grandchildren, Annabelle and Charles Pantzer.