Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Aidekman, Alex, 1914-1990


Alex Aidekman (1914-1990), supermarket entrepreneur and philanthropist, was a generous supporter of Tufts University, his sons' alma mater.

Born the son of an immigrant Russian couple on a dairy farm in Maplewood, New Jersey, in 1914, Aidekman began his career in food service at the age of eighteen by operating a roadside produce stand with his brothers. He served as a supply officer of the Army Medical Corps in France and Germany during World War II and then returned to Union, New Jersey, to open a supermarket. He was a co-founder of Wakefern Food Corporation, a cooperative of grocery-store owners trading under the name Shop-Rite.

Aidekmen formed Supermarkets Operating Company, which later changed its name to Supermarkets General, with two partners in 1959. The chain stores of the company include Purity Supreme, Pathmark, and Heartland supermarketsHe served as Supermarkets General's chairman until his retirement in 1986.

As a leader of the United Jewish Appeal's Food Industry Council and a trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest, Aidekmen was very active in Jewish community affairs. He also supported, with his family, the establishment of the Aidekman Research Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University and a research professorship in neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.

Aidekman's connection to Tufts University is through his two sons, Gary, A1973, and Ken, A1975. He and his wife, Shirley, a former trustee, became active members of the Tufts Alumni parents group, proving to be among Tufts' most avid supporters and generous benefactors. Their greatest gift to the university is the Shirley and Alex Aidekman Arts Center, located on Talbot Avenue on the Medford campus.

Aidekman died December 14, 1990, at Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. He had battled Parkinson's disease since 1975.

Source: SSDI; NYT, December 15, 1990

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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