Basha, Eddie, Jr.

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    677169.jpgEddie Basha, Jr., born in 1937, served as President and CEO of the locally owned and operated Bashas' grocery store chain.  Under his leadership, the chain grew from a few stores in the early 1960s to more than 150.  Eddie's father, Eddie Basha, Sr., had, with his brother Ike, founded the Bashas' grocery store chain.  Eddie himself started working in his father's stores at age 11, continuing to do so until he left to attend Stanford University.  Though he thought about quitting his studies as a junior to help his dad run the company when his uncle Ike passed away, he remained in school and finished his degree at his father's insistence.  When Eddie Basha, Sr., passed away in 1968, Eddie took over running the company.  Eddie was known as a passionate advocate for education, and for his charitable work, for which he never wanted any attention or notice.  He served for many years on the Chandler Unified School District school board, including three terms as the board's president.  He also served on the State Board of Education, and was appointed to the Arizona Board of Regents in 1990 by Governor Rose Mofford.  In 1994, he ran for governor on the Democratic ticket, squaring off against incumbent Fife Symington.  Eddie lost the election, but a popular phrase on bumper stickers around Arizona after Governor Symington's resignation on bank fraud charges pointed to his high popularity - "Don't Blame Me - I Voted for Eddie!"  Eddie looked into running for governor again in 1998, but ultimately decided against it because he didn't want to run against his friend Jane Dee Hull, who had ascended to the governorship after Symington's resignation.  His charity was broad based and generous.  He donated countless truckloads of food to food banks like St. Vincent de Paul, and spent time in soup kitchens feeding the poor.  He was known to give $100 bills to panhandlers, and supported many local charities and non-profits.  Eddie was married twice, to first wife Sherri, with whom he had four sons, and second wife Nadine, with whom he had two more sons.  Eddie passed away on March 27, 2013, due to undisclosed health issues.  Weeks before his passing, his son Eddie "Trey" Basha succeeded him as President and CEO of Bashas'.

    To see pictures of Eddie Basha, CLICK HERE.

    To watch a video interview of Eddie Basha produced when he was inducted as an Arizona Historymaker in 2001, CLICK HERE.

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