Bernard Polan, founder of retail chain

May 02, 1991

Bernard Polan, founder of a chain of retail variety and discount stores, died Tuesday at Sinai Hospital after a heart attack at his home on Park Heights Avenue. He was 84.

Graveside services for Mr. Polan were being held today at the Arlington Cemetery of the Chizuk Amuno Congregation, 4300 N. Rogers Ave.

He started the chain in Annapolis about 40 years ago as Polan's to $1 stores. At one point, it had 21 stores in the Middle Atlantic states and in Florida.

He sold most of the stores, and by the time of his retirement in 1978, he was operating a single store in Laurel, which he closed.

He was a member of the local advisory board for the Equitable Trust Co. branch in Laurel before his retirement.

In 1959, he became president and chairman of the board of the Bel Air Race Track when he and his brothers bought a controlling interest in the half-mile track, which they sold at the end of 1960.

A native of Baltimore, he was a 1924 graduate of City College and a 1928 graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where he was active in lacrosse, baseball, tennis and track.

Later, he was a golfer and a member of the Woodholme Country Club.

Mr. Polan had been a member of the Chizuk Amuno Congregation for many years.

He is survived by his wife, the former Florence Krawitz; two sons, Jesse N. Polan of Franklin, Mich., and Bertram J. Polan of Tarzana, Calif.; a daughter, Susan P. Carp of Owings Mills; two HTC brothers, Alvin and Joseph Polan, both of Baltimore; two sisters, Lillian Polan of Baltimore and Irene Cohen of San Antonio; and six grandchildren.

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