Lex Brodie

Lex Brodie (1914-11 Jan 2013) was a famous businessman in Hawaii.  He had a reputation for honesty and integrity, and being always in touch with his customers.  His ads always thanked you for watching and his catchy logo was “Little Joe” the caveman making a wheel out of a rock.  Whenever you went into his facility he always had a welcoming customer waiting room with a TV, magazines, and a phone.

Lex Brodie was born Alexander Brodie in Kekaha, Kauai in 1914.  He moved to Honolulu and was in the first graduating class of Roosevelt High School.  He learned to surf in 1925 when he was eleven years old.  In 1933 he was one of the beloved Waikiki Beach Boys who gave lessons and outrigger canoe rides on Waikiki Beach.  In his first business venture, he partnered with Sam Kahanamoku, brother of Duke Kahanamoku in a beach boy business.  He attended the University of Hawaii where as a football player he traveled on the Mariposa to the mainland to play UCLA and Denver.

After college, he worked for Dole, at that time owned by Castle & Cooke and was called Hawaiian Pine.  Brodie was a manager at Dole Pineapple until 1958 when he purchased the Chevron Station at the Windward City Shopping Center.  He specialized in tires.  He stored the tires at his home garage because there was not enough storage at the Chevron Station.  

In 1964 he moved to town and opened The National Tire of Hawaii at 701 Queen Street where his gas area is today.  In 1972, he opened his store in Waipahu.  In 1975 he started Small Business Association of Hawaii (after nearly 40 years of advocating for Hawaii’s entrepreneurs, Smart Business Hawaii aka Small Business Hawaii closed on 27 Dec 2014) to represent the small businesses which made up about 98 percent of the business community.

Brodie sold his tire company in 1990.  The company continues to use his name and commercials.  In the same year, he ran for the Board of Education, and even though he spent only $1,000, he polled more votes than the governor.

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Footnote: Above information was extracted from:

1. Hawaii’s ‘Greatest’ Entrepreneur, Lex Brodie, Dies at 98, Hawaii Reporter, January 13, 2013

2.  The Companies We Keep, pp206-209 by Bob Sigall and his students at Hawaii Pacific University, 2008, publisher Small Business Hawaii, 6600 Kalanianaole Hwy, #212, Honolulu, HI

3.  “Voice of Hawaii small businesses” closes, Hawaii News Now, December 27/update 28 2014

—————————————— Published Apr 2016 —————————————— 

©Apr 2018                       Honolulu County Coordinator Doreen Harunaga-Ewing