Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
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