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November 16, 2015

Obituary: Bruce Dayton, Minn. Retail Mogul and Arts Patron

Bruce B. Dayton, a scion of the family behind the Target retail chain and a major benefactor of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, died Friday at age 97 at his home near Minneapolis, The New York Times and the St. Paul Pioneer Press write.

Mr. Dayton served from 1969 to 1977 as CEO of what is now the Target Corporation. He and his wife, Ruth, gave more than $80 million and some 2,000 works of art to the institute, on whose board he served for 73 years, and also supported universities and libraries in Minnesota. He was described in a 2009 New York Times article as "a dean of American corporate arts philanthropy."

The father of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Bruce Dayton was the last of five brothers who inherited their father's Minneapolis department store. Along with building Dayton's into a Midwestern chain, they opened the nation's first fully enclosed shopping mall in Edina, Minn., in 1956 and in the 1960s launched Target and bookseller B. Dalton. The brothers committed 5 percent of the firm's pretax profits to charity.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the Dayton family and giving in the Twin Cities.