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Stanley J. Winkelman Papers

Identifier: UP001500

Scope and Content

The papers in this collection document the personal and multi-faceted professional life of Stanley J. Winkelman, as well as his extensive work as a community leader. The bulk of these papers consists of correspondence, materials arising from his organization affiliations, and records of Winkelman Stores, Inc. which were generated and collected by the founders and early officers of the company and by Stanley Winkelman throughout his thirty-eight years with the company. Materials relating to his post-retirement work and his affiliations with numerous universities and colleges are also included. A smaller portion of the collection documents milestones in Winkelman’s personal life and includes material relating to family members and family financial planning.

Important subjects covered in this collection are: Architecture Art Commissions Art Exhibitions Blacks Relations with Jews Business Planning Casinos--Michigan--Detroit Charitable Uses, Trusts and Foundations China Relations--United States Community Development--Michigan--Detroit Community Relations--Michigan—Detroit Detroit (Mich.)--Economic Conditions Detroit (Mich.)--Economic Policy Detroit (Mich.)--Police Dept. Detroit (Mich.)--Race Relations Detroit (Mich.) Riot, 1967 Detroit Public Schools Detroit Strategic Plan Education, Higher--Michigan Fashion Design Fashion Designers Fashion Merchandising International Libraries Judaism Judaism Relations Christianity Juvenile Delinquency--Michigan--Detroit Medical Care--Michigan--Detroit Minorities Housing--Michigan--Detroit Political Campaigns Poverty--Michigan--Detroit Public Art--Michigan Reform Judaism Regionalism Renaissance Center (Detroit, Mich.) School Integration Social Justice State and Art Unemployment--Michigan--Detroit Youth Services for Michigan--Detroit Important correspondents in this collection are: James J. Blanchard Malcolm Carron, S. J. Jimmy Carter Jerome Cavanaugh Walker L. Cisler John Conyers, Jr. Lawrence P. Doss Walter E. Douglas George Edwards, Jr. Max M. Fisher Gerald R. Ford Henry Ford, II Michael M. Glusac Victor Gruen George E. Gullen, Jr. Joseph L. Hudson, Jr. Arthur Jefferson Damon J. Keith William Kessler Carl Levin Robert E. McCabe William G. Milliken Walter F. Mondale Thomas A. Murphy Milton J. Petrie E. Harwood Rydholm F. Ray Scott Harold T. Shapiro Robert W. Spencer A. Alfred Taubman Lynn A. Townsend G. Mennen Williams Coleman A. Young
Series Description: Series I, Correspondence, 1957-1998, Boxes 1-3: Correspondence relating to Winkelman’s professional and personal life, including communications with business associates and executives, civic leaders, city, state and federal officials, foreign dignitaries, members of the media, artists, fashion designers, international friends and associates, personal friends and family.

Series II, Winkelman Stores, Inc. (Winkelman Brothers Apparel, Inc.), 1928-1998, Boxes 3-17: Historical materials, corporate records, performance data, publicity, press releases, training materials, handwritten notes and detailed records of planning, programs, and operations of Winkelman Stores/Winkelman Brothers Apparel, Inc., from its establishment in 1928 to and including the corporate transition to Petrie Stores, Inc.

Series III, Post-Retirement Business and Professional Activities, 1984-1998, Boxes 17-19: Materials relating to Winkelman’s professional activities following his retirement from Winkelman Stores, Inc. The series is divided into three subseries.

Subseries A: Stanley Winkelman Associates, Inc., 1984-1992: Records of the management consulting firm established by Winkelman in 1984 which specialized in strategic planning, including papers relating to the daily operations of the firm, and information on clients and the contacts and services performed on their behalf.

Subseries B: Corporate Boards of Directors, 1984-1995: Materials generated from Winkelman’s position as a member of several corporate boards.

Subseries C: Photojournalism, 1987-1998: Prêt-a-porter designer invitations/press credentials, published articles, and unpublished fashion manuscripts relating to Winkelman’s activities as a photojournalist and special writer for the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of Michigan.

Series IV, Travel, 1958-1998, Boxes 19-21: Correspondence, contact information, notes, commentaries, travel and business information relating to Winkelman’s extensive travels throughout the United States and abroad. The series is divided into four subseries. Subseries A: Travel Itineraries, 1958-1994: Itineraries and information regarding business-related and personal travel, including family vacations.

Subseries B: Travel, International, 1961-1998: Correspondence, contact information, notes, travel and/or business information for countries outside the United States. Subseries C: Travel, United States, 1967-1998: Correspondence, contacts, guides, notes, and information on lodging and travel within the United States.

Subseries D: Travel Commentaries, 1970-1984: Commentaries on Winkelman’s travel experiences throughout the world, consisting primarily of transcriptions of recorded notes. Series V, Organizations, 1899-1998, Boxes 21-40: Records of numerous cultural, business, civic, and educational organizations and health and welfare agencies, commonly consisting of correspondence, memos, reports, newspaper clippings and publicity, meeting minutes, committee records, rosters and membership lists, budgets, brochures, speeches and handwritten notes. The series is divided into six subseries.

Subseries A: The Arts, 1978-1991: Papers relating to Winkelman’s position on the Michigan Commission on Art in Public Places and the Orchestra Hall Executive Advisory Council.

Subseries B: Business and Economic Development, 1966-1996: Records generated from Winkelman’s service on the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Detroit Renaissance, Inc., Economic Alliance for Michigan, Detroit Economic Club, Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce, Metropolitan Affairs Corporation, and the National Retail Merchants Association.

Subseries C: Community Relations, 1961-1998: Records generated and collected by Winkelman while serving on the Detroit Commission on Community Relations, the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Detroit, and New Detroit, Inc.

Subseries D: Education, 1966-1988: Records relating to Winkelman’s service on the Detroit Education Task Force, Michigan Governor’s Commission on Higher Education, U.S. District Court Monitoring Commission (Detroit Public Schools Desegregation), and Wayne County Community College Monitor’s Citizens Advisory Committee.

Subseries E: Health and Welfare Agencies and Organizations, 1899-1995: Records relating to Winkelman’s leadership roles in the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan, Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Welfare Federation, Jewish Home for the Aged, Metropolitan Northwest Detroit Hospitals Corporation, United Community Services, United Foundation/United Way, and Wayne State University Health Care Institute.

Subseries F: Miscellaneous Non-Profit Affiliations, 1956-1995: Correspondence, meeting minutes, rosters, newspaper clippings, programs, reports, pamphlets and brochures, fundraising materials, and notes relating to Winkelman’s involvement with numerous non-profit organizations.

Series VI, Projects and Special Events, 1962-1998, Boxes 40-41: Information documenting Winkelman’s personal experiences and projects, as well as his involvement in a number special events, including presentations, conferences, dinners, meetings, special committees, exhibitions, benefits, and tributes.

Series VII, Political Activities, 1969-1994, Box 41: Correspondence and other materials relating to Winkelman’s political interests, activities and concerns. Series VIII, University Affiliations and Activities, 1954-2002, Boxes 42-43: Correspondence, clippings, articles, reports, meeting minutes, programs, and other materials relating to Winkelman’s affiliations with colleges and universities where he studied and worked in his early years, and where he later lectured, and/or served on various boards and committees.

Series IX, Speeches, 1975-1987, Boxes 43-44: A selection of speeches delivered by Winkelman at various events and venues, many with notes, correspondence and other supporting materials.

Series X, Writing, 1958-1997, Box 44: Materials relating to Winkelman’s book and various written articles. The series is divided into three subseries. Subseries A: Book, 1997, 2001: Subject outline and reviews of the book A Life in the Balance: The Memoirs of Stanley J. Winkelman, completed in 1999 and published in 2000 by Wayne State University Press. Subseries B: Published Articles, 1958-1997: Published articles written by Winkelman on various topics, including fashion, retailing, business, funding of the arts, and New Detroit, Inc.

Subseries C: Unpublished Manuscripts, n.d., 1989-1997: Unpublished manuscripts written by Winkelman on the subjects of art, books and bibliophiles, politics, and retailing.

Series XI, Subject Files, Box 44: Correspondence, papers, reports, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and other publications collected by Winkelman on a variety of topics relating to his professional and civic work as well as many of his personal interests.

Series XII, Honors and Awards, 1968-1997, Box 45: Correspondence, notes, programs, proclamations, and other materials relating to some of the many honors and awards bestowed upon both Stanley and Margaret Winkelman in recognition of their service and dedication to the community.

Series XIII, Personal and Biographical, 1892-1999, Boxes 45-47 and 49: Papers documenting the personal life of Stanley J. Winkelman, as well as materials relating to his wife and family. The series is divided into two subseries.

Subseries A: Personal Papers, 1922-1999: Birth certificate, school, fraternity and military records, early employment information and expense records, correspondence from a young Stanley Winkelman from 1934 to 1945 and personal correspondence from 1946 to 1994, greeting cards, information relating to birthday celebrations, residences and club memberships, resumes, publicity and feature articles, poetry, obituaries, funeral eulogy, funeral book and other miscellaneous items. Box 49 is a memorial scrapbook.

Subseries B: Family Papers, 1892-1997: Materials relating to Winkelman’s wife Margaret (Peggy) Winkelman, his children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and extended family members, and information on the history of the Winkelman family.

Series XIV, Financial Planning, Foundations, and Trusts, 1951-1990, Boxes 47-48: Correspondence, by-laws, annual reports, budgets, tax forms and information on contributions relating to the Winkelman family’s financial planning, trusts and foundations.


  • 1892 - 2002
  • Majority of material found within 1943 - 1998

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Stanley Jay Winkelman was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on September 23, 1922 into a family of retailers. His grandfathers, Mose Winkelman and Henry Rosenblum, immigrated to the United States from Europe in the late 1800s and sold supplies to lumberjacks in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula before opening department stores in their respective communities: Winkelman’s in Manistique, Michigan and Rosenblum’s in Gladstone, Michigan.

Stanley’s father, Leon Winkelman, operated a dress shop in Sault Ste. Marie, and his uncle, Isadore Winkelman, ran a men’s clothing store in Detroit. In 1928, Leon moved his family to Detroit where he and Isadore established a business at Fort Street and Junction under the name of Winkelman Brothers Apparel, Incorporated, the first of what would become a chain of ladies’ fashion specialty stores. The company became publicly owned in 1959. In 1966, the name was changed to Winkelman Stores, Inc. and its stock was listed on the American Stock Exchange.

Stanley Winkelman, the oldest of four brothers, attended public schools and received his religious education at Temple Beth El in Detroit. Beginning at the age of ten, he spent his summers washing windows, scrubbing floors, and folding cartons at the Fort Street store. In 1939, Winkelman graduated from Cooley High School and entered the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he majored in chemistry and pledged to Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. That same year, Winkelman met Margaret (Peggy) Jayne Wallace, a high school junior. Peggy entered the University of Michigan in 1941, just months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and U.S. involvement in World War II. Winkelman’s class of 1943 was the last to reach graduation without interruption by the war but, like many of his classmates, he sped up his program and graduated in February of that year. Winkelman immediately went to work on a chemical warfare research project at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He and Peggy were married in March of 1943 and moved to the University of California in Berkeley, then on to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he was assigned to other war-related research projects.

In 1944, Winkelman accepted a commission in the Amphibious Forces of the United States Navy and served as Deck Officer and Supply and Commissary Officer on LST-384, the second-oldest LST (Landing Ship Tank) in the fleet, until his discharge in 1946. His first child, Andra, was born in 1945 while he was deployed in the Pacific, but it was another year before they would meet.

Following his discharge from the Navy, Winkelman joined the company founded by his father and uncle, Winkelman Brothers Apparel, Incorporated. He began as a general merchandise administrator, and rose through the ranks to Executive Vice President in 1960, President in 1965, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1976. In 1957, he made the first of many buying trips to Europe, and quickly developed a flare for analyzing the fashion market, forecasting trends, and adapting products to meet customer tastes. Winkelman Stores offered its shoppers imported European fashions at affordable prices and the chain rapidly grew to nearly 100 stores in Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Winkelman retired from Winkelman Stores, Inc. in 1984, following the corporate takeover of the company by long-time competitor Milton Petrie and Petrie Stores – a takeover precipitated by the sale of company stock by Winkelman family members. The stores retained the Winkelman name, but closed in 1998. Following his retirement, Winkelman established Stanley Winkelman Associates, Inc., a management consulting firm that specialized in strategic planning. He also sat on several corporate boards, and combined his love of photography and his knowledge of the European fashion scene to become a photojournalist and a member of the working press. For twelve years he attended and photographed the European prêt-a-porter (ready to wear) designer showings each March and October, putting his opinions and photos into a column for the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of Michigan.

Throughout his professional career and his “retirement,” Winkelman also played an active and important role in the business, civic, educational and cultural life of the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan. He served as President of the Metropolitan Affairs Corporation and as a board member of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Detroit Renaissance, the Economic Alliance for Michigan, and the Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce. Winkelman also sat on the boards of the United Foundation and United Community Services. He was a member of the Orchestra Hall Advisory Council, and was appointed Chair of the Michigan Commission on Art in Public Places by Gov. James J. Blanchard in 1986.

Winkelman was a life-long member of Temple Beth El and a leader in the Jewish as well as secular community. He served as President of the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Detroit and board member of the Jewish Welfare Federation and the Jewish Home for the Aged. As an alumnus and supporter of the University of Michigan, Winkelman was a member of the President’s Club, served on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee of the University’s Dearborn campus, and established the Leon and Isadore Winkelman Chair in Retail Marketing and the Leon and Josephine Winkelman Lecture Series in Gerontology. Both he and Margaret were long-time members of the University of Michigan Friends of the Library. Winkelman also served on a number of committees at Wayne State University, including the Wayne State University Fund Executive Committee and the Wayne State Press Advisory Board.

Perhaps most prominent was Winkelman’s commitment to fairness and social justice. He was appointed to the Detroit Commission on Community Relations by Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh in 1962, and in 1963, called upon the Detroit Board of Education to hire more black teachers. Following the Detroit riots of 1967, when many businesses left the city, Winkelman kept his family’s stores in Detroit and was instrumental in the founding and shaping of New Detroit, Inc., the nation’s first coalition of business, community, and government leaders. He served as its chairman in 1971 and led a subcommittee investigating the Detroit Police Department in an effort to make the force more representative of and responsive to the citizens of the City of Detroit.

Winkelman received many accolades, honors, and awards during his lifetime, including the Jewish Welfare Federation’s Fred M. Butzel Memorial Award – the highest leadership honor of the Jewish Community, the Detroit Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award, the University of Detroit’s Human Relations Award, the Mercy College “Mercy Medallion,” and the Wayne State University Builder of Detroit Award. In 1993, he was presented with a “Doctor of Humane Letters” Honorary Degree from Wayne State University.

Winkelman died of cardiac arrest on August 19, 1999. He and Margaret were the parents of three children and grandparents of seven at the time of his death.


49 Linear Feet (49 SB)


Stanley Winkelman served as president and Chief Executive Officer of the historic Detroit retailer, Winkelman Stores, Inc. An active leader in the Detroit community, Mr. Winkelman served in a multitude of Detroit political and civic organizations, holding posts such as president of the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Detroit, on the Detroit Commission on Community Relations, and as chairman of New Detroit, Inc.

Mr. Winkelman’s papers document his professional life and his activities as an influential community leader, reflecting the affairs of Winkelman Stores, Inc., and his affiliations with community organizations throughout Metro Detroit.


Arranged in 14 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (Boxes 3-17), Series 3 (Boxes 17-19), Series 4 (Boxes 19-21), Series 5 (Boxes 21-40), Series 6 (Boxes 40-41), Series 7 (Box 41), Series 8 (Boxes 42-43), Series 9 (Boxes 43-44), Series 10 (Box 44), Series 11 (Box 44), Series 12 (Box 45), Series 13 (Boxes 45-47, 49), Series 14 (Boxes 47-48). Folders are arranged chronologically, alphabetically, or a combination thereof depending upon the series.

Series 3 is divided into 3 subseries. Series 4 is divided into 4 subseries. Series 5 is divided into 6 subseries. Series 10 is divdied into 3 subseries. Series 13 is divided into 2 subseries.


The papers of Stanley J. Winkelman were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by Mr. Winkelman in 1992 and 1993, and by his widow, Margaret W. Winkelman, in several increments between 1999 and 2002. An additional two items were added in 2014.

Related Materials

Reuther Collections: Detroit Strategic Plan Collection; George Edwards, Jr. Collection; Jewish Community Council Collection; Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit Collection, Part I; Jewish Home for the Aged Collection; Damon J. Keith Collection; New Detroit, Inc. Collection; Southeast Michigan Council of Governments Collection; United Community Services Collection
Non-Reuther Collections: Winkelman, S. J. A Life in the Balance: The Memoirs of Stanley J. Winkelman. [Wayne State University Press, 2000]

Papers for Stanley J. Winkelman can also be found in the Stanley Winkelman Family Collection at the Rabbi Leo M. Franklin Archives at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.


A number of photographs, negatives and slides of Stanley J. Winkelman, Margaret W. Winkelman, their children, family members and friends, and several miscellaneous photos, have been transferred to the Audiovisual Department of the Library, including two Winkelman family photo albums. Audio and video tapes, film, photographs, negatives and slides relating to special projects, lectures and post-retirement work have also been transferred, including numerous runway fashion photos taken by Stanley Winkelman and two photo albums of Caribbean apparel assembly workers,

Numerous photographs, negatives, slides, audio and video tapes and film relating to Winkelman Stores, Inc. have also been transferred to the Library’s Audiovisual Department, including photographs of stores, store executives, and company and store events, as well as recorded travel commentaries, and a film documentary on the history of the company.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Stanley J. Winkelman Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA