Businessman. Born in Bavaria, Germany his family was discriminated against because they were Jewish. Shortly after his father died Levi, his mother, and two sisters came to the United States. Two older brothers owned a dry goods business in New York City and that is where Levi worked. In 1853 he moved to San Francisco and opened his own dry goods business serving general stores during the Gold Rush. In about 1872 a customer, Jacob Davis, a tailor who purchased cloth from him, asked for his help acquiring a patent for a method of making stronger pants by using metal rivets on the pockets. Strauss agreed to pay the fee for the patent which was granted to both men the following year. He believed that there would be a demand for what he first called "waist overalls" and began to make them out of canvas but soon changed to denim which was died blue to hide stains. He opened his own factory in San Francisco to manufacture the jeans which helped make him a millionaire. He supported religious and social causes and helped establish the first synagogue in San Francisco. He provided for numerous scholarships to the University of California.
Bio by: Gail Campbell Schulte