PHILADELPHIA -- Maurice L. 'Moe' Strauss, last survivor of the three men who founded the 'Pep Boys' auto parts store chain, died Wednesday after a long illness in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was vacationing. He was 85.
Strauss, who with Manny Rosenfeld and W. Graham 'Jack' Jackson founded 'Pep Boys,' served as president and chairman of the board of the firm until his retirement in 1975. He and his partners were the 'Manny, Moe and Jack' still portrayed at the firm's stores and in its advertising.
Strauss, who was born in South Philadelphia, teamed with Rosenfeld and Jackson in 1921 to open a store that sold basic parts and and accessories for the Model T Ford.
Strauss came up with the name 'Pep' while he and his associates were sitting around on cases of 'Pep' valve grinding compound. The name 'Pep Boys' came from a Philadelphia policeman who used to send customers over to the store.
He married the former Violet Browne in 1928. She died in 1950 and he never remarried.
Strauss is survived by two sons, Benjamin and Robert, two daughters, Elaine Lenson of Israel and Sandra Krause of California, a brother, Perry, 11 grandchildren and a great grandchild.
Funeral services are scheduled for Friday.