Kentwool Mourns Loss of Wool Textile Leader

Mark Kent, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Greenville, S.C.-based Kent Worldwide, died suddenly at the age of 55 on Sunday, Sept. 24.

"It is with deepest regret that we announce the recent and unexpected passing of Mark Kent," said a statement from Kentwool. "Mark served as Kentwool's beloved leader for more than twenty years, and was the fifth generation of Kents to direct the family business. Kentwool flourished under Mark's leadership, and his loss is felt deeply across the entire organization.

Kentwool is the largest worsted wool spinner in the United States and spins millions of pounds each year to supply knitters, sock manufacturers and others. "He was a supporter and friend to the U.S. wool industry," said Rita Samuelson. "His ever-positive presence and business expertise will be missed".

Kentwool's broad range of customers includes golfer Bubba Watson, Amtrak and many others. The 173-year-old company is family-owned and known for its nimble response to changes in the textile industry. Mark Kent took over in 1993 when his father, Warren, died unexpectedly.

"An astute business man, Mark will be best remembered for his kindness and generosity, as well as his exceptional character and infectious smile," the statement from Kentwool continued. "Mark was a service-focused leader and man who was committed to serving his family and friends, his employees and his customers."

The company's recent specialty has been golf socks.

Kent was a 1985 graduate of Wake Forest University and a 1986 graduate of Clemson University's School of Textiles.