Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Bruce T. Halle, founder and chairman of the board, Discount Tire, has been selected for membership in the prestigious organization.  Halle joins 11 other accomplished business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor in 2015.  Since its establishment in 1947, the Horatio Alger Award is annually bestowed upon renowned leaders who have succeeded, despite facing adversity, and who are committed to both philanthropy and higher education.

Halle was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to hard-working parents who taught him the value of perseverance from a young age.  During the Great Depression, his father worked as a security guard at a wartime production plant to support Mr. Halle and his six siblings.  Inspired by his father‚s determination to succeed, Mr. Halle delivered newspapers, developed photographs, cut grass and dug graves to help support his family during his childhood.  In 1948, Mr. Halle enrolled at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), but left to join the Marines so that he could serve his country in the Korean War.  Upon the completion of his military service, he returned to EMU to finish his degree in business administration, and after graduation, tried his hand at selling insurance.  Mr. Halle then joined a high school friend in a wholesale tire, battery and accessories business, and despite the fact that the business failed, he knew he had found his passion.  In 1960, he opened the first Discount Tire store in Ann Arbor.  In the beginning, Mr. Halle was the company‚s purchasing agent, accountant, salesman, service technician, cleaning crew and sign painter.  He built his business one tire sale at a time, and 54 years later, Discount Tire is the largest independent tire company in the world with sales exceeding $4.2 billion.  It has twice been voted Arizona‚s Most Admired Company.

“The entrepreneurial spirit that is so instinctive in Mr. Halle is a hallmark of our Membership,” said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient.  “We honor his determination and drive as much as we honor his professional success and philanthropic generosity.  We look forward to welcoming Mr. Halle as a lifetime Member, and we have every confidence that his life story will serve to inspire our Scholars for years to come.”

A generous philanthropist, Mr. Halle supports a variety of causes, including the Halle Heart Center, Special Olympics, Arizona State University (ASU) Cancer Center, Childhelp USA and more.  He is a member of ASU‚s Dean‚s Council of 100 and is an Entrepreneurial Fellow at the University of Arizona.  Wanting to give back to his alama mater Eastern Michigan University, Mr. Halle made the largest individual gift ever received by the school. He has received numerous awards, including the American Academy of Achievement‚s prestigious Golden Plate Award, Northwood University‚s Outstanding Business Leader Award and ASU‚s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  In 2014, he was named Dealer of the Year from Modern Tire Dealer.  His foundation, the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, supports organization that address homelessness, hunger, health, medical research and education.  Through the foundation, a scholarship program has been established that allows every child of a Discount Tire employee the opportunity to attend college.

In accepting the Horatio Alger Award, Mr. Halle commented, “To be part of such an esteemed group of leaders is both deeply humbling and deeply gratifying.  I learned hard work from my father who struggled through the Depression to support our family.  His work ethic has always served as an inspiration to me and I believe that my success is rooted in his outstanding example.  I look forward to helping the Association perpetuate its mission of preserving the American Dream ˆ a dream that I have been lucky enough to live ˆ among its Scholars.”

In addition to presenting its annual award, Horatio Alger Association administers one of the largest, privately-funded scholarship programs for students in the United States and Canada.  These students, like the Members, have faced significant adversities, but have persevered and are determined to overcome life‚s challenges.  Scholarships are wholly funded through private donations from Members, Life Partners and friends, and since 1984, the Association has provided more than $100 million to promising students in need.

Mr. Halle and the Member Class of 2015 will be officially welcomed into the organization during the 68th Annual Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. April 9-11, 2015.  In addition to recognizing these tremendous leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also honor its 2015 National Scholarship recipients, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and learn from one another.