Jerry O’Shea joined Levi Strauss & Co. in 1939 as a stock boy. He retired in 1981 at the level of Vice President of Corporate Marketing, after 42 years with the company. As his tenure at LS&Co. concluded, Jerry was mindful of the thousands of manufacturing employees who had also devoted their careers to LS&Co. He understood that if an emergency came up, many had no financial cushion. These men and women had made it possible for Jerry to succeed and, ultimately, to give back.
Inspired by the company’s history of philanthropy — dating back to Levi Strauss himself — Jerry and his wife Claire established the Red Tab Foundation. Other executives made contributions of support. They agreed that a foundation started by employees, for employees, was not only a logical extension of the values inherent to Levi Strauss & Co., but also an essential contribution to the community.