Adolph 'Adi' Dassler and his brother Rudolph owned their own shoe company in Germany during the 1920s and 30s. Their products were so popular, many of the German competitors in the 1928 Olympics wore Dassler Brothers shoes.
During WWII the brothers had a falling out. Both joined the Nazi
party, but Rudolph was more fanatical and went off to fight, leaving
Adi to make shoes for the military. After the war ended, Rudolph
left and formed his own company, Puma. Adi then renamed the original
company after himself, and Adidas was born.
Nov 6, 2010
German brother Adi and Rudolf Dassler founded their shoemaking firm in 1924. Twelve years later, Adi drove cross-country to Berlin, where he convinced Jesse Owens to wear his handmade running shoes in the Olympics. Owens won four gold medals, and the Dasslers’ white shoes became coveted by runners everywhere. But in 1948, after many years of feuding, the brothers split. Rudolph opened up a shop across the river and named his new enterprise Puma, while Adi renamed his company Adidas (the first three letters of his first and last names).