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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Abe Abraham, chairman of S. Abraham & Sons (SAS), a solutions company that offers distribution, technology and marketing to convenience retailers, celebrates his 100th birthday today.
Abraham was born in a small village in Lebanon and like many immigrants, he and his mother crossed the Atlantic in 1921 to Ellis Island. His father, Sleyman, had already been in this country for several years, traveling back and forth to his homeland while establishing a home and work in Kansas. Several years later, the family moved to Grand Rapids to be closer to family, where Sleyman established a small retail candy and "five and dime"> store. The business developed into a wholesale company, selling to retailers in the city.
At the age of 16, Abraham joined his father in the business, and 10 years later, his brothers James and Wade began to work in the family business as well.
World War II took Abraham to India, where he served in a military courier service. In 1947, he met and married his wife, Adele Kaleel. Together, they have four children, 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild on the way.
Abraham and his brothers built S. Abraham & Sons on servicing customers. Today, SAS distributes 12,000 items to 3,600 customers in nine states, from two distribution centers.
Abraham is well known in industry circles for his love of cigars. At age 100, he is still smoking three to four Macanudos a day.