Lloyd Eugene Rigler (May 3, 1915 – December 7, 2003) was an American businessman and philanthropist. As a businessman, he and a partner, Lawrence E. Deutsch, made Adolph's Meat Tenderizer a national brand. One of his notable philanthropic efforts was the establishment, in 1994, of the Classic Arts Showcase, a free, non-commercial television channel promoting the fine arts.
Rigler was born in Lehr, North Dakota, to Frank and Jeannette Rigler, who ran a general store serving the farming community in the town of Wishek, North Dakota where the family lived. He had five siblings.
As a young man, he moved to live with relatives in Chicago, Illinois, and worked to save money to attend the University of Illinois, from which he graduated in 1939.
After graduating from college, Rigler moved to New York City and got a job in sales. During the 1940 World's Fair, he sold RC TVs. In 1942 during World War II, Rigler signed up for the U.S. Navy, but due to the fact that he couldn't see well with his left eye, spent the war in San Pedro, California instead of overseas.
Lawrence E. Deutsch and Rigler met when Rigler worked in the food business and leased space from Deutsch. They went into business together in the mid-1940s.
In 1948, he and Deutsch, who died 1977, bought the Adolph's recipe and name from Adolph Rempp, a chef and restaurant owner in Santa Barbara, California. Later Adolph's became owned by Unilever.
After the sale of their company, Deutsch and Rigler formed the Ledler Corporation, a venture capital firm.
When Rigler's partner, Deutsch, died in 1977, Rigler formed the philanthropic foundation called Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation.
In May 1994, Rigler founded Classic Arts Showcase, which was based on the idea that for people who didn't have the money to see art and culture live, this television channel would provide a 24/7 experience for free. Prior to his death, he had funded the program to operate through at least 2022. The signal of Classic Arts Showcase is not scrambled, so there is no authentication / access restriction. There are also no commercials.
In 1999, Rigler founded American Association of Single People, which was focused on political rights for single people.
Other philanthropic efforts:1980s: Joffrey Ballet - when it was located at the Los Angeles Music Center
1990s: Egyptian Theatre - restoration
American Cinematheque, Hollywood theaters
Los Angeles Music Center - Founding Donor
New York City Opera: Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors
Rigler died at his home in Los Angeles, California. The cause was cancer.