Fun with science > Knowledge Hub > GENERAL AWARENESS > People > RUDOLF DASSLER



German founder of  the sportswear company Puma

Born                          26 March 1898 Herzogenaurach, Germany

Died                          27 October 1974 (aged 76) Herzogenaurach, West Germany

Nationality            German

Occupation            Founder of Puma

Political party      National Socialist German Workers’ Party


The brothers were partners in a shoe company Adi started, (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory).

Rudi joined in 1924, however the brothers became rivals following World War II and started their own companies in 1948.

Initially calling the new company “Ruda” (Rudolf Dassler), it was soon changed to its present name of Puma

Puma is the native Quechua word for cougar, from there it went into German as well as other languages.


Adolf Dassler, Rudolf’s younger brother, started to produce sports shoes in his mother’s kitchen after his return from World War I.

His father, Christoph, who worked in a shoe factory, and the brothers Zehlein, who produced the handmade spikes for track shoes in their blacksmith’s shop, supported Adolf Dassler in starting his own business.

In 1924, Rudolf joined the business, (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory).

Rudolf was affectionately known as ‘Bobby’ because this was the only sound that he could make for the first three years of his life.

With the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, both Dassler brothers joined the Nazi Party, with Rudolf reputed as being the more ardent National

During the war, a growing rift between the pair reached a breaking point after an Allied bomb attack in 1943 when Adi and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf and his family were already in.

“The dirty bastards are back again,” Adi said, apparently referring to the Allied war planes, but Rudolf was convinced his brother meant him and his family. So the brothers separated.

Under his direction, Puma remained a small provincial company.

Only under the direction of his son, Armin Dassler, did it become the worldwide known company it remains today.

Rudi Dassler died on 27 October 1974 of lung cancer at the age of 76.