Robert S. Fogarty, Jr.
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PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC - Robert S. Fogarty, Jr. died in the company of his family on September 11 due to complications from Myasthenia Gravis and cancer. He was a loving husband and family man, a loyal patriot, a scholar, an accomplished basketball player, and a titan of American industry. He was pre deceased by his sister Catherine F. Whalen and his parents Robert S. and Christine Fogarty. His wife Harriett, daughters Paula and Lea, and son Dean survive him.
A native of Poughkeepsie, New York, Fogarty served as a member of the United States Air Force in the Korean War. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wofford College in 1959, he headed the State Student Legislature of South Carolina, was a member of the Senior Order of Gnomes, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and member of Wofford's championship debate and basketball teams.
His illustrious career commenced at Burlington Industries in South Hill, Va., where Fogarty met and wed Harriette Moseley. His career evolved in California where he successfully turned around a furniture division for Schlumberger. He went on to re-structure many companies in the furniture industry. His most significant accomplishment of this kind was the turn-around of General Interiors that included such brands as Pennsylvania House and Kittinger. Considered as the industry's most classic turn around, his General Interiors achievement is the subject of Chapter six in his protégé and beloved friend, Mike Dugan's, The Furniture Wars. His last company turn-around was that for Kindel Furniture Company, which he took from a sleepy cabinet shop to America's ultra-luxury maker of traditional home furnishings while under Fogarty's twenty seven years of leadership.
Awarded an honorary doctorate from the Kendall College of Art and Design in 2005, Fogarty's visionary contributions to the American furniture industry were recognized. Of the many honors he received throughout his career, the most meaningful to him was the Horatio Alger Award, bestowed in 1971. One of his greatest passions was the fight to stem the tide of American job losses to foreign imports as a member of the American Manufacturer's Trade Action Coalition with his friend, Roger Milliken.
Fogarty made his home near Pawleys Island, South Carolina for the last twenty years.
A memorial service will be held in the near future in Pawleys Island.
Donations may be made to the Fogarty Fund at Wofford College, 429 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC, 29303-3663, (864) 597-4000.
Condolences may be made at: www.burroughsfh.com
The Burroughs Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Murrells Inlet (843.651.1440) is in charge of arrangements.
Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal on Sept. 12, 2013