COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Jerry Zucker, a self-made billionaire who turned a small holding company into an empire that would eventually buy one of Canada's most-storied companies, died Saturday. He was 58.
Zucker, chief executive officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, died of cancer at his home, according to the company.
Zucker was a scientist and inventor before becoming a global businessman. In 1983, he founded The InterTech Group, a conglomerate that makes fabrics and plastics for items as simple as tarps and as complex as insulation used in the minus 200 degree world of cryogenics. The company said his wife, Anita, will take over as chairwoman and chief executive officer, while his son Jonathan has been named president.
In 2006, Jerry Zucker acquired Hudson's Bay Company, created as a fur-trading venture under a royal charter in 1670.
The acquisition moved Zucker onto Forbes magazine's list of billionaires, with a net worth of $1.2 billion (euro760,000 million) in the 2008 list.
Zucker was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1949 and immigrated to Charleston with his parents and brother three years later. He majored in chemistry, mathematics and physics at the University of Florida and received a master's degree in electrical engineering from Florida State University.
Zucker had more than 350 inventions and patents. The technology that went into his Revolutionary Phase Factor for Colinear Electromagnetic Waves would later be used in the first lunar landing.