Government and industrial figures bid farewell to entrepreneur philanthropist and social activist Dov Lautman today, after he died yesterday morning in an Israeli hospital at the age of 77. An Israel Prize recipient for lifetime achievement, the Delta Galil founder suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for several years.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Lautman “one of the founders of modern Israeli industry and a pioneer of advanced technology and exporting,” Ynet reported.
The prime minister also said he was a Zionist “who saw the promotion of education as both a personal and a national mission. Even when he became ill… he continued to pursue his work. May he rest in peace.”
Lautman founded Delta Galil Industries in 1975 and ran the company for many years. The company supplies many of America’s favorite labels and undergarment name brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nike, and Hugo Boss.
In 2003, the Tel Aviv-born, MIT-trained Lautman was diagnosed with ALS. He was the president of IsrALS, the first and only address for ALS in Israel. Paralyzed by the disease, Lautman worked hard to advance research of ALS in Israel.
In 2007, he was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement.
On Sunday (Nov.24), the Hebrew newspapers ran dozens of obituary notices — paid for by companies from across the spectrum — in honor of Lautman.