Ruby was born in Chicago in 1919 and served in the U.S. Army in World War II. In 1946, he joined his father’s company. Jaymar-Ruby, based in Michigan City, Ind., was a major trouser producer that at its peak was making a million pairs of Sansabelt pants a year in four U.S. factories. Ruby started as a cutter and sewer and eventually worked his way up to president and CEO in 1957. He became chairman in 1981.
Jaymar-Ruby, which started in 1916 as an overalls company, began making trousers in 1930. The company was best known for Sansabelt (it held the patent on the elastic waistband), which launched in 1957, but it produced pants under many other brands, including Jack Nicklaus and Tommy Armour. Jaymar-Ruby closed down in 2009 after its parent company Hartmarx was acquired. Sansabelt was relaunched in 2013.
“Bud Ruby was my licensee for 12 years, an iconic figure in the menswear industry,” remembered designer Sal Cesarani. “He helped establish Cesarani clothing and sportswear and he gave me the creative reins to run my division. I knew him and loved him; they don’t come like that anymore.”
Ruby is survived by his wife June; children Pamela, Kirk, Julie, John, Tom and Pat; sisters Harriett and Dorothy; 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. A funeral will be held at Sinai Temple located at 2800 S. Franklin Street in Michigan City, Ind. at 11 a.m. on Sunday, January 4. An obituary was posted by the funeral home.