Sun World International founder Howard Philip Marguleas, 82, passed away late last week following complications from cancer.
A leading player within the US fresh produce sector for over 50 years, Marguleas began his career in the 1960s, selling Hawaiian-grown pineapples on the US mainland.
Following this venture, Marguleas sold fruit and nuts under the Sun Giant brand, before becoming the principal founder of Sun World in the mid-1970s. When Marguleas sold Sun World in the 1990s, it had developed into the largest privately held produce company in the US.
Durning his career, Marguleas served as a member on a number of advisory boards, including the California State Board of Agriculture and the California State Chamber of Commerce. He also served on various corporate boards, including Sun World, Ready Pac Foods and Summit Health.
Among the long list of accolades bestowed upon Marguleas over his career were the Distinguished California Agriculturalist Award in 1990 and the Riverside County Farm Bureau’s Man of the Year in 1999.
In addition to his wide-ranging agribusiness interests, Marguleas was an investor in real estate firm the Irvine Company, and in several Southern California golf course developments.
He was also a longstanding philanthropist, championing the causes of many health care, education and community organisations, including the Claremont McKenna College in California, Sierra Nevada College and the American Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
Born in San Francisco in 1934, Marguleas resided in Rancho Mirage, California. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ardit, four children and nine grandchildren.