Mr. Coors's grandfather, a German immigrant, founded the Golden, Colo.-based, Adolph Coors Co. in 1873. Many credit [Joseph Coors Sr.]'s engineering innovations and often-controversial business tactics with transforming the company from a regional brewery into one of the nation's largest.
Adolph Coors shepherded the company through much of Prohibition (producing malted milk and near beer) and then reportedly jumped to his death from a hotel room in Virginia Beach in 1929. Joseph Coors's older brother, Adolph Coors III, was kidnapped and killed in 1960.
A few years later, in the mid-1970s, Mr. Coors won a nearly 20- month strike that ended union representation at the brewery. Even though Coors employees turned down Teamsters representation, the AFL- CIO led a decade-long boycott of the company.
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