HOUSTON Houston retail icon Harold Wiesenthal died early Sunday morning in hospice care with his family at his side.
For more than 60 years on 19th street, Harold s in the Heights was a fixture.
Nice clothes. You know classy clothes, said Heights resident Jim Cavander.
But more than the store was the man.
He s really one of the best representatives of what Houston is all about. He is there to help anybody. He is there to be your friend. The city is going to miss him the world is going to miss him, said former Houston Oiler Dan Pastorini and a long time friend.
Harold s son Michael, who worked with his dad side by side, was with him this morning when Harold passed.
My father always treated everyone the same; it did not matter black or white or rich or poor. Everybody got treated the same when they came into that store, said Michael Weisenthal.
Harold s was one of the first family businesses to embrace what was new media back in the day. His television commercials were a staple of Houston TV until last year, when Harold s closed its doors after 61 years.
Harold Weisenthal built the store from scratch and catered to celebrity and made himself one alongside first namers like Bum, Earl, Willie, George.
Former President George H.W. Bush called Harold a friend and issued a statement responding to his death, Harold was a tireless and very successful businessman who never lost the common touch. We...will miss Harold very much.
His determination may well have saved the retail sector in the Heights staying in business when hardly anyone else did.
For him to have stuck it out, my hat is off to him. He is a pioneer. My hat is off to him, says Martin Mercader, who owns an antique store across the street from the old Harold s location.
Seeing Harold and his family run Harold s for so many years and survive and do well is something, Pastorini says.
Harold s is something that will likely never be seen again, certainly not duplicated. He was one of kind.