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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

REINBERGER, CLARENCE THOMPSON - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

REINBERGER, CLARENCE THOMPSON (29 Nov. 1894-2 Dec. 1968) was a prominent businessman and philanthropist who chaired the board of directors of Genuine Parts Co., parent organization of NAPA auto parts stores. In 1968 he established the REINBERGER FOUNDATION to fund and support Cleveland and Columbus area hospitals, colleges, schools, museums, and the arts.

Born in Cleveland to Nicholas and Sarah (Thompson), Reinberger was raised in Cleveland and educated in the public school system. In the 1920s, Reinberger started work as a clerk for Automotive Parts Co. in Cleveland which was part of the NAPA network of automotive stores and warehouses. He was then promoted to manager of the company's Akron store.

Reinberger remained with Automotive Parts where he became president in 1947. From his office in Columbus, Reinberger oversaw the NAPA warehouses in Cleveland, Columbus, and Charleston, W.Va. When Genuine Parts purchased the NAPA warehouses in 1950 Reinberger was named a director and board chairman of Genuine Parts.

While attending a NAPA meeting in Chicago, Reinberger suddenly collapsed and died. According to his will, his widow gave one-half of his estate, or $6 million, to the Reinberger Foundation which he had established shortly before his death.

Reinberger married Louise V. Fischer (d. 1984) on 5 Oct. 1918. They had no children. Reinberger lived in Cleveland, moved to Florida and is buried in St. Petersburg Beach.

Last Modified: 10 Jul 1997 05:11:38 PM

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