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Avram Goldberg, former chairman and chief executive of Stop & Shop, dies at 92

Carol Goldberg and her husband Avram Goldberg of Boston in 2007.Bill Brett/Globe Staff/File

Avram Goldberg, who had served as president and then chairman of the Stop & Shop Cos., died Sunday.

He was 92 and his death was announced by the office of his daughter, state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg.

For several years, Mr. Goldberg and his wife, Carol Rabb Goldberg, held the top positions at Stop & Shop.

Initially, he was president and chief executive officer while she was vice president and chief operating officer. Upon the death in 1985 of her father, Sidney R. Rabb, Mr. Goldberg became chairman and she became president. Her family founded the company in Somerville in 1914.

“It has been exciting to be married to someone who is way ahead of her time in the emergence of women as equal partners in our society, and to be part of the process,” he wrote in 1986 for the 35th-anniversary report of his Harvard College class.


Mr. Goldberg had worked for Stop & Shop part-time while attending Harvard, in the class of 1951, and Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1954.

After practicing law, he joined Stop & Shop. He and Carol had married in 1950.

Mr. Goldberg was named vice president for real estate in 1963 and was placed in charge of food retailing for the chain two years later.

Named executive vice president in 1968, Mr. Goldberg succeeded Donald Gannon as president in 1971.

Less than three years after he became chairman, Stop and Shop was the subject of a hostile takeover attempt, and the company agreed in late winter 1988 to a leveraged buyout.

“It was war,” Mr. Goldberg told the Globe in July 1989.

“We’re merchants, businesspeople, Bostonians,” he said. “Suddenly, we were plunged into the takeover world. We felt we were besieged and that the company and everything it stood for would be destroyed.”


He and his wife remained the company’s top officials until departing in November 1989.

Complete information about survivors and a service was not immediately available.

“Together, we’ve tried to utilize our energy, our resources, our time, and our positions to make life better for others,” Mr. Goldberg wrote in 1991 of what he and Carol set out to accomplish.

A full obituary will follow.

Bryan Marquard can be reached at bryan.marquard@globe.com.