CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Henry Berlin, whose clothing store has been a fixture of downtown Charleston since 1883, has died, store employees have confirmed.
He was 93.
Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley called Berlin "one of the greatest business and civic leaders of his time."
"He served with distinction and a great sense of purpose as a member of the Charleston city council," Riley said Wednesday in a statement. "His positive attitude and jovial nature enriched everyone with whom he came in contact. I will and our community will miss him very much."
Born on Aug. 19, 1924, Berlin was a U.S. Navy Veteran who served during World War II and was president of Berlin Brothers and ran Berlin's Clothing for more than 70 years, according to his obituary.
Calling him instrumental in the revitalization of King Street, Charleston city officials dedicated a portion of King Street from Queen to Broad Street as "Henry Berlin Block" on Dec. 27.
Berlin was on hand for the dedication.
Berlin served on the Charleston City Council between 1986 and 1989. During that time, he served on many commissions and sub-committees such as the Central Business District Revitalization Board, the Yacht Basin and the City Market Advisory Committee. He was also a founder of the Coastal Carolina Fair and served on several boards including the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Hollings Cancer Center, Exchange Club, a proud member of The Hibernian Society, and Spoleto Founding Committee, his obituary states.
Berlin's For Men survived the Charleston earthquake of 1886 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989, according to its website. The first generation Berlin arrived to the United States from eastern Europe with $1.38 in his pocket and sold goods out of his car until he could open the store, the site says.
Berlin and his brother, Alwyn, joined the firm in 1958, the site states. Alywn Berlin died in 1978.
Berlin, a third-generation owner, passed control of the business to his children in 2004, but remained an active part of the business, the site states.
Berlin is survived by his wife, Terry; his son, Steven of Mount Pleasant; daughters Elaine and Ellen of Charleston; and two grandsons.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to the caring staff of The National HealthCare Center. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to MUSC Hollings Oncology, 18 Bee Street, Charleston, SC 29425 or Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue, 182 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403.
A graveside service will be held Thursday at 3 p.m. at Brith Sholom Beth Israel Cemetery on Sycamore Avenue, according to J. Henry Stuhr Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements.
Mayor John Tecklenburg released the following statement on his Facebook page: