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Crosley Founder Dixson Dies At 83

2/24/2003 03:11:00 PM Eastern

Winston-Salem, N.C. - Carl Eugene 'Buddy' Dixson, founder of the Crosley Group of independent appliance distributors, died here last month at age 83.

Dixson, a co-owner of the Brown-Rogers-Dixson Co., a regional distributor, founded Crosley in 1976 in response to the loss by independent dealers of channel restricted product lines to national discount chains. Its private-label Crosley brand, created specifically for independents, today encompasses a full range of kitchen and laundry products that it distributes - along with the Maytag and Zenith lines - to some 8,000 dealers in all 50 states through a network of 75 distribution centers.

Dixson's independent streak and sense of fairness went beyond business. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, he defied the color barrier in 1960 by welcoming civil rights marchers to the lunch counter of his company's retail store. Soon thereafter several prominent Southeast department stores followed suit and changed their segregation policies, the newspaper reported.

Dixson's post as president of Crosley has been assumed by Fred Kidd, principal of C&L Supply in Vinita, Okla.