Pep Boys Heir Robert P. Strauss Dies at 82


Robert P. Strauss, a son of one of the founders of the Pep Boys national auto parts supply chain and the widower of Zorro TV actress Eugenia Paul, has died. He was 82.

Strauss died Thursday at his home in Manalapan, Fla., his daughter Kimberly said.

Strauss, then a part-time actor, met Paul in 1952 during a celebrity party at the Hollywood Bowl. They were married from 1958 until her death in May 2010.

Paul played Senorita Elena Torres on Zorro, the late-1950s ABC show that starred Guy Williams as the swashbuckling hero, and also appeared in such films as The Disembodied (1957) and Gunfighters of Abilene (1960).

Strauss’ father, Maurice “Moe” Strauss, was one of four Navy buddies who put in $200 apiece in 1921 to open the first Pep Boys store in Philadelphia. The publicly traded chain, known for its “Manny, Moe & Jack” marketing, now has more than 800 stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Born in Philadelphia, Robert Strauss earned an athletic scholarship to Duke and played basketball for future Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach, who was at the college for just a few months in 1949.

While he was at Duke, the family moved to Bel-Air, where they purchased a 60-acre estate.

Robert Strauss served on the board of directors at Pep Boys and was with the company for 30 years. In the mid-1980s, he sold his stock, his family said, and began a successful career in the field of risk arbitrage.

In 1985, he and his wife retired to Boca Raton, Fla., where they made charitable contributions to the Miami City Ballet and Palm Beach Opera.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his other children Wendy and Baron and his grandchildren George, Ryan and Brody.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4

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