For many Utah residents of a certain age, the Skaggs name was virtually synonymous with the cozy drugstore where the lunch counter, soda fountain, discount clothes and sundries were as much of a draw as the pharmacy. But that model eventually gave way to something quite different: the food and drug superstore principally pioneered by L.S. Skaggs.
At his death Thursday from natural causes at age 89, "Sam" Skaggs, who made hundreds of millions of dollars as an innovative business entrepreneur, was perhaps best known to later generations as one of the state's most generous and low-profile philanthropists.
It seems somehow fitting that Skaggs, who dropped out of Westminster College to join the military in World War II, had been planning to attend the April 12 ribbon cutting for the L.S. Skaggs Pharmacy Research Building at the University of Utah, for which he and the Skaggs foundation donated nearly half the $69 million cost.