Bruce Halle, the billionaire founder of Scottsdale-based Discount Tire and a noted philanthropist and art collector, died Thursday at the age of 87, a company spokesman said.

Halle died in his sleep at his Paradise Valley home, according to the spokesman.

Forbes magazine ranked Halle as the wealthiest person in Arizona, with a net worth of $6 billion.

Discount Tire, the largest independent tire retailer in the country, has 940 stores and almost 19,000 employees in 33 states.

Generations of Arizonans know Discount Tire for its 10-second TV ad featuring a little old lady tossing a tire through a store window. The ad first aired in 1975 and earned a Guinness World Records ranking as the world's longest-running TV commercial.

Halle served as a Marine during the Korean War, then received a business degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Halle's 2012 biography says he founded Discount Tire in 1960 in Ann Arbor, Mich., with just six tires — two new ones and four retreads — after failing in two other businesses.

He had a simple explanation for the company's name: "Everybody wants a deal."

Halle followed the explosive growth in the Sun Belt to Arizona in 1970, first by opening stores here, then by moving the company and his family here.

He has been a major player in the worlds of art, philanthropy and politics.


In 2016, Discount Tire donated $1 million to the campaign against legalizing marijuana in Arizona.

The stores were targeted by a boycott during that election year, after signs supporting then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio's re-election appeared in the windows.


The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation has disbursed more than $50 million over the last five years to countless organizations in Arizona. The foundation's focus has been social justices, hunger and arts and culture.

The Bruce T. Halle Foundation provides college scholarships to the children of Discount Tire employees.

Halle and his wife, Diane, were given a papal award for supporting the restoration of the Vatican's Pauline Chapel, the pope's private chapel.


ArtNews has ranked Bruce and Diane Halle among the top 200 art collectors in the country for the last 10 years. They are known for their collection of 20th and 21st century Latin American art. They have also been major benefactors of the Phoenix Art Museum.

"When I became serious about actually collecting, I wanted to have a region that was my own, one that I could explore by myself," Diane Halle told an interviewer.

Halle is survived by his wife, Diane. They married after each had lost a spouse to cancer.

He is also survived by four children, Bruce Halle, Jr. (Nikki), Susan Lyle (Wilson), Lisa Pedersen (Chris) and Michael Zuieback (Sheila); siblings Bob Halle (Nancy), Mary Ellen Merrill, Betty Lou Halle; and seven grandchildren.

Information on funeral arrangements was not available.