Tony Lama Jr., of boot company, dies

Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM
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EL PASO, Texas, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Tony Lama Jr., former chief executive officer and president of the boot-maker Tony Lama Co., has died at age 81, his family has said.

Lama Jr. took over the company his father founded and made it a national brand through the 1970s and 1980s, the El Paso, Texas, Times reported Wednesday.

One of his daughters, Melissa Lama, said her father was handed the reins to the business based on the strength of his personality. Lama Sr. died in 1974 and Lama Jr. took over.

"He was a very charming, gracious man," his daughter said.

He was a sports enthusiast -- an avid golfer and steady fan of University of Texas El Paso basketball.

He played high school and college football, attending Texas Western College, which is now UTEP.

"I think he wanted to be a coach," his daughter said.

The family sold Tony Lama Co. to Justin Brands in the 1990s. The brand is still made today.

A funeral will be held Thursday afternoon in El Paso, the Times said.

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