Merv Pregulman, president and chief executive officer of Siskin Steel for nearly two decades, died today at the age of 90.
A Michigan native and former All-America football player for the University of Michigan, he moved with his wife, Helen, to her hometown in 1957. He became the CEO at Siskin Steel, begun by his wife's grandfather, in 1978, and remained with the company after it was sold in 1996.
"Merv was just a giant in our industry and will be terribly missed," said Paul Loftin, president and CEO of Siskin Steel. "The city has lost a giant."
Pregulman was a former president of the Jewish Community Federation of Greater Chattanooga, a former member of the University of Chattanooga Foundation's board of trustees and played significant roles in the building of Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation and Finley Stadium.
"He was a leader in business, philanthropy and with his family," said Jewish Community Federation Executive Director Michael Dzik, "and he cared deeply about all those things. We'd like to think we're not going to forget Merv for years to come."
Pregulman served in the Navy during World War II and played professional football with the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and New York Bulldogs from 1946 through 1949.
He and his wife were honored as Chattanooga's Philanthropists of the Year in 1997, and the couple endowed a scholarship at the University of Michigan in 1998.