Southern Glazer’s Chairman Harvey Chaplin Passes Away

Harvey Chaplin
Harvey Chaplin. Image credit: Business Wire

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits today announced that the company’s Chairman, Harvey Chaplin, passed away on June 9, 2024. He was 95 years old.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved father, Harvey Chaplin, our Company’s Founder and Chairman, and one of the icons of our industry,” said Wayne E. Chaplin, CEO of Southern Glazer’s, in a news release. “His influence as a leader, a philanthropist, a loving family man, and Patriarch of our family has left an indelible mark on all who have known and worked with him. He was a larger-than-life figure and will be greatly missed by my family, and our entire Southern Glazer’s team.”

Chaplin was also the former WSWA Board of Directors. Commenting on this sad news in another release, WSWA president and CEO Francis Creighton said, “Harvey Chaplin’s legendary career has inspired so many, and with his passing we celebrate his accomplishments as a wine and spirits wholesaler who’s impact on WSWA members, and the larger wine and spirits industry is monumental. The middle-tier has lost a giant, and we are saddened by his loss.”

Dan Leese, Distilled Spirits Council Board Chair and Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS also commented on the Passing of Harvey Chaplin, saying, “DISCUS, its board and its members stand together in celebrating the many significant contributions Harvey Chaplin has made over his more than seven decades in our great industry. Harvey was an industry giant who propelled the spirits industry forward through innovation, adaptation and modernization. From his start in the mailroom at Schenley Industries to his role as chairman and CEO at Southern, Harvey spent his life building a better future for the alcohol industry that we now get to enjoy because of the great progress he achieved throughout his career.”

Chaplin a Prominent Figure in the Wine and Spirits Industry

Having paved the way for the modern three-tier system, Chaplin was at the forefront of what became an unprecedented expansion and consolidation of the second tier, according to Southern Glazer’s. Even after his son, Wayne Chaplin, became CEO and took over the day-to-day running of the business supported by the next generation of family members and many of the leaders throughout the company which he helped groom, Harvey Chaplin’s dedication and commitment was unwavering, and he continued to be deeply involved in the business.

Harvey Chaplin was born in 1929 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY. By the time he graduated from Brooklyn Boy’s High School, he had already begun his career in the wine and spirits industry, securing a part-time position in the mailroom at Schenley Industries and working his way up to run wholesale operations, according to Southern Glazer’s. In 1969, he joined Southern Wine, along with other founding executives. He became Chairman of Southern Glazer’s in July 2016, upon the historic combination of Southern Wine and Glazer’s Distributing.


Mr. Chaplin is survived by his wife, Roberta; his first wife Arlene died in 2000, with whom he had three children, Paul (Karen); Wayne (Arlene), and Terry (Fred); and 9 grandchildren, Monica (Moises); Elizabeth (Evan); Katie (Spencer); David (Ashley); Jennifer (Sean); Mark (Carly); Scott (Zoe); Ryan (Lauren); and Tyler (Tatiana). He also is survived by 10 great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made in Harvey Chaplin’s name to the Harvey R. Chaplin Family Stroke and Chest Pain Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center, or to the Harvey R. Chaplin Central Building at Temple Beth Shalom Miami Beach, Florida or to the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.


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