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Arnold Gittelson, Founder Morgan Fabrics, Dies at 98

June 19, 2020


Arnold Gittelson
Arnold Gittelson

LOS ANGELES – Arnold “Arnie” Gittelson, founder of Morgan Fabrics, died on June 12, 2020.

He was 98.

He started Morgan Fabrics in 1956, and the company that has distribution warehouses in Los Angeles, Verona, Mississippi, and Nantong, China, has grown into a leader as a global fabric converter and supplier to manufacturers, fabricators of home furnishings, recreational vehicle manufacturers, specialty products producers, and the hospitality industry.

Gittelson, who was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Jan. 17, 1922, led the company for over 60 years until his retirement in 2016.

From the beginning he set the tone for employee longevity and many remained a part of the company for over 40 years. He was held in high regard by all of his colleagues, admirers say, because he was known for his honesty and integrity.

He also valued family and brought up his two sons, Michael and Robert, and a nephew, Steven Gittelson, into the company and mentored them as they would be the legacy of Morgan Fabrics.

In 1991, Michael Gittelson invested in the company becoming his father’s partner. Today, he leads the company as chairman and CEO, and Steven is the company’s vice president.

Arnie joined the U.S. Marines on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and spent three years serving in the South Pacific theater during World War II. He was honorably discharged as a chief master sergeant.

He had a long love and marriage of 70 years with his late wife, Pat Gittelson. They had four boys together who were raised in Encino, California.

Arnie had a passion for golf and fortunately was able to enjoy the game well into his early 90s. He shared much of his success and wealth to various philanthropic organizations and received many personal awards for doing so.

Arnie leaves behind two sons, Michael (Tina) Gittelson and Robert (Angela) Gittelson, grandson, Max Gittelson (fiancé Sara Potter), nephews, Steven and Gary Gittelson, and nieces, Gayle Waldman and Susan Tranchina, along with his two grandnieces and seven grandnephews.


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