Jun 6, 2017Marguleas, produce industry leader, dies at 82
Howard Philip Marguleas, 82, died June 1 in Rancho Mirage, California following complications from cancer.
Born December 5, 1934, in San Francisco, California to Joseph and Belle Marguleas, he and his wife Ardith resided in Rancho Mirage, California where they lived off and on since 1958.
A leader in the U.S. produce industry and the principal founder of Sun World International, Marguleas delighted in bringing many new fruits and vegetables to American consumers. Beginning in the 1960s with the first Hawaiian pineapples sold on the mainland, then branded fruit and nuts under the Sun Giant brand, and Red Flame Seedless grapes vine-ripened tomatoes, colored sweet peppers, seedless watermelon, and assorted new grapes and plums under the Sun World brand as well as his coveted California-grown mangoes.
He attended Lowell High School in San Francisco and received his Bachelor of Arts in Agricultural Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Earlier in his career, along with his father Joseph and partner Frank Heggblade, he worked for produce marketing company Heggblade-Marguleas Co. which they sold to Tenneco in 1970. He subsequently served as president and chief executive officer of Heggblade-Marguleas-Tenneco in Bakersfield, which held the oil conglomerate’s extensive California agriculture and real estate holdings.
In the mid-1970s, he founded Sun World International which he sold 20 years later after growing it into one of the most innovative and largest privately-held produce companies in the country. In addition to his wide-ranging agribusiness interests, Marguleas was an investor in The Irvine Company.