Duluth Native, WWII Vet, Vacuum Company Founder David Oreck Has Died
Sad news arrived this week with the passing of New Orleans entrepreneur David Oreck, who was born in 1923 in Duluth, Minnesota. He was 99 years old.
David Oreck may have been born in Duluth, but from there he led an admirable life. Nola.com reports that he spent much of his childhood experiencing the hardships of the Great Depression, which left a lasting impression on him.
At 18, Oreck learned to fly so he could participate in a civilian air operation moving supplies and equipment to the Allies in England. The U.S. had not yet joined the war at that time, but that would change, of course, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
After serving on a B-29 bomber during World War II, he went on to create the vacuum cleaner company that bore his name. The Oreck Corporation was founded in 1963 after taking over the New Orleans distributorship of appliance and electronics company RCA.
David Oreck would grow that New Orleans-based company into an international manufacturer and distributor of lightweight yet powerful upright vacuum cleaners.
Not only was he the founder of the company, but he also became the public face of the vacuum company, appearing in television commercials and other advertising campaigns.
Oreck, who would have turned 100 on September 17, died Wednesday at his Mississippi home. His death came after a brief illness, according to his wife, Jan Oreck.
So sad to lose another member of "America's Greatest Generation", the generation in the United States that came of age during the Great Depression and later fought in World War II.
Rest in peace to a Duluth native who went on to accomplish great things and leave behind a proud legacy.
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