• Lazarus stepped down as CEO in 1994 and served as chairman for four years after.
  • He did not have a stake in the business at the time of his death.

Charles Lazarus, the founder of Toys R Us, died on Thursday in Manhattan, Bloomberg reported, a week after the company announced it would be shutting down or selling all of its stores in the US. He was 94.

Lazarus opened the first Toys R Us store in 1957. He had been running a baby-furniture store since 1948. Toys R Us became the first retailer to mass-merchandise toys at discount prices, according to Entrepreneur.

At that time, its main competition came from department stores, which mostly made toys in the runup to Christmas. The…