Southern Glazer’s Announces Passing of Harvey Chaplin

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits today announced that the company’s chairman, Harvey Chaplin, passed away on Sunday. He was 95 years old.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved father, Harvey Chaplin, our company’s founder and chairman, and one of the icons of our industry,” said Wayne E. Chaplin, CEO of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. “His influence as a leader, a philanthropist, a loving family man, and Patriarch of our family has left an indelible mark on all who have known and worked with him. He was a larger-than-life figure and will be greatly missed by my family, and our entire Southern Glazer’s team.”

Added Bennett Glazer, executive vice chairman of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, “Harvey and I shared a mutual dedication to family, commitment to our communities, and investing in people as the foundation of business success. I am proud to have had him as a colleague and a friend, and join our entire Southern Glazer’s team in mourning his loss. On behalf of the entire leadership team, I extend our sympathies to his family, who meant the world to him.”

Harvey Chaplin has been one of the most influential and storied figures in the wine and spirits industry. Having paved the way for the modern three-tier system, Mr. Chaplin was at the forefront of what became an unprecedented expansion and consolidation of the second tier. His vision for creating a national footprint to scale the value a wholesaler could deliver for suppliers and customers has driven the unparalleled growth of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, which now operates in 45 U.S. markets, as well as Canada. Even after his son, Wayne Chaplin, became CEO and took over the day-to-day running of the business supported by the next generation of family members and many of the leaders throughout the company which he helped groom, Harvey Chaplin’s dedication and commitment was unwavering, and he continued to be deeply involved in the business.

Harvey Chaplin was born in 1929 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. By the time he graduated from Brooklyn Boy’s High School, he had already begun his career in the wine and spirits industry, securing a part-time position in the mailroom at Schenley Industries and working his way up to run wholesale operations. In 1969, he joined Southern Wine, along with other founding executives. He served in numerous senior executive roles running day-to-day operations of Southern from 1969 to 1993 and in 1994, became Chairman and CEO. He became Chairman of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in July 2016, upon the historic combination of Southern Wine and Glazer’s Distributing. Today, Southern Glazer’s remains a privately held company and is the largest distributor of beverage alcohol in North America.

Mr. Chaplin is survived by his wife, Roberta; his first wife Arlene died in 2000, with whom he had three children, Paul (Karen); Wayne (Arlene), and Terry (Fred); and 9 grandchildren, Monica (Moises); Elizabeth (Evan); Katie (Spencer); David (Ashley); Jennifer (Sean); Mark (Carly); Scott (Zoe); Ryan (Lauren); and Tyler (Tatiana). He also is survived by 10 great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made in Harvey Chaplin’s name to the Harvey R. Chaplin Family Stroke and Chest Pain Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center, or to the Harvey R. Chaplin Central Building at Temple Beth Shalom Miami Beach, Florida or to the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.

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