February 26th, 1829 - September 26, 1902
Born Loeb Strauss in Buttenheim, Bavaria, he immigrated to New York after his father died of tuberculosis. There he worked for his brothers in a wholesale dry good business and by 1850 he is accounted for in the census, and known by family and customers as Levi.
In February, 1863 Levi headed west to San Francisco and established his own dry goods business, importing supplies such as clothing, fabrics, umbrellas and handkerchiefs and selling them to small stores sprouting up across California during the gold rush. He received a letter from a regular customer - a tailor named Jacob Davis from Reno, Nevada in 1872 describing the way by which he made sufficiently strong and comfortable jeans for miners. Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis struck gold in their own way on May 20, 1873 when "blue-jeans" would be patended.
It would not stop there for Levi, however, as he would go on to be charter member and treasurer of the San Francisco Board of Trade in 1877. He was also the director of the Nevada Bank, the Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Company, the San Francisco Gas and Electric Company and owned two wool mills.
Levi Strauss is still considered one of San Francisco's greatest philanthropists, and greatly aided the cities educational and commercial growth. During the week of September 22, 1902 Levi began reporting symptoms of illnes, and on the night of Friday the 26th, told his nurse he felt "as comfortable as I can under the circumstances," and then, peacefully, he passed. Many of his buildings and business records were destrpyed by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire, but the company and legacy of Levi Strauss will always live on.