Burton, Sir Montague

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BURTON, SIR MONTAGUE (1885–1952), British industrialist and philanthropist. Born in Russia as Moishe Osinsky, Burton went to Leeds, England, as a young man and, after working as a tailor, founded a clothing factory in 1910. He soon became known as a pioneer of cheap, well-made men's clothes and established a chain of shops which was the largest of its kind in Europe, employing over 20,000 people. Burton held radical views on the relations between employer and employee, and his factories were known for their good working conditions and generous employee benefits. He endowed chairs of industrial relations at the universities of Cambridge, Leeds, and Cardiff, and of international relations at Oxford, London, Nottingham, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. An enthusiastic traveler, Burton wrote a two-volume diary of his journeys, Globe Girdling (1936–38). Long after his death, Burtons continued to be one of the most familiar and successful of High Street retailers in Britain, probably the best-known men's clothing chain.

add. bibliography:

E.M. Sigsworth, Montague Burton: The Tailor of Taste (1990); odnb online; dbb, I, 526–31.

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Burton, Sir Montague

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