Bruce T. Halle, who founded Discount Tire in Michigan with an inventory of only six tires in 1960 and built it into the largest independent tire dealer in North America, died on Thursday. He was 87.
Officials at company headquarters, in Scottsdale, Ariz., announced the death but did not specify the cause or say where he died.
Mr. Halle, Discount Tire’s chairman, had been ranked by Forbes magazine as the richest person in Arizona for several years. According to the magazine, his net worth is more than $5 billion.
Born in Springfield, Mass., on May 27, 1930, Mr. Halle started his first tire store in Ann Arbor, Mich., four years after he graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in business administration.
He rented an old plumbing supply building, built countertops, repainted the sign outside and was the store’s only employee, serving as tire technician, cleaning crew, salesman and accountant.
It was three days before Mr. Halle had his first customer and a week before he made a sale. His original inventory consisted of two new tires and four retreads.