EDWARD D. SULTAN, Jr.

Posted On November 5th, 2010 -

EDWARD D. SULTAN, Jr.

December 28, 1927 – October 30, 2010

Kama’aina jewelry manufacturer, Edward D. Sultan, Jr., passed away suddenly while asleep last Saturday at the end of a perfect day spent with friends and family.

Eddie, as he was known to close friends, grew up in Honolulu where he attended Lincoln School and Punahou School. He transferred to Indiana’s military boarding school, Culver Military Academy, shortly after the Pearl Harbor bombing. Eddie joined the Calvary at Culver where he learned just about everything there is to know about raising, training and riding horses. He used those skills for much of his life.

Shortly after graduating from Stanford University in 1949, Eddie was drafted into the army and was trained as an artillery officer in Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. He entered the Korean War as a 2nd Lieutenant and served until he left as a 1st Lieutenant at the end of the war. Eddie earned a Purple Heart and a commendation for valor under fire after exposing himself to enemy artillery in order to pinpoint its location for a retaliatory strike. He was extremely proud of his military service and felt those years helped mold his character.

Upon his return to Honolulu, Eddie went to work for his father, Edward D. Sultan, Sr., who had established The Sultan Company in 1924. This is the same company that, decades later, would become Na Hoku, Inc. One of Eddie’s first assignments for the Company was as a Neighbor Island salesman. Eddie often spoke of the days when he would make the circuit of plantation stores on each island. In addition to providing highly prized Bulova watches, his arrival with diamond rings usually triggered a rash of engagements in the small, isolated communities.

Eddie took over The Sultan Company from his father and, over a period of years, built it into the largest jewelry manufacturing and distribution company in the Pacific Region by expanding into Guam, American Samoa, Australia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In 1985, Eddie became involved in an entirely new concept in retailing, “The Pearl Factory”. The sale of oysters guaranteed to contain a genuine pearl, first marketed from carts in the International Market Place in Waikiki, became so popular that there are now 32 Pearl Factory stores in four states. The Sultan Company evolved into what is now Na Hoku, Inc., a retail phenomenon conceived by Eddie’s son, the third generation CEO of the Company. Today, there are 37 Na Hoku stores in twelve states as well as a highly successful internet store at NaHoku.com.

Eddie was an early member of the prestigious Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), an international group of company presidents under the age of 50. While a member of YPO, Eddie made lasting friendships with entrepreneurs world-wide and, with his wife Carroll, attended numerous YPO events throughout the world.

Eddie was a true gentleman of the old school. As with his father, his handshake was his bond and manufacturers from Bulova Watch Company to Harry Winston Diamonds knew that, despite the distance to Hawaii, they would be represented with integrity. Likewise, many of Hawaii’s fledgling jewelers knew they could count on Eddie for advice as well as financial support when needed.

While Eddie worked hard, he also played hard, literally spending 20 years “horsing around” on the Double-Five Ranch. He and his partners built every road, fence, corral, and stable on the ranch. They created a new game, “picking rocks,” which not only occupied their children but produced some of the cleanest pastures in Waimanalo. Horses they raised on the ranch were not just for weekend riding but could be seen strutting in many Kamehameha Day parades.

Eddie’s passion for sports lead him to help form The Hawaiians, a team in the World Football League, fulfilling his dream of bringing professional football to Honolulu.

Eddie and Carroll Sultan and their family have been major leaders and supporters of Easter Seals Hawaii’s Sultan School for Early Intervention founded by his parents, Edward and Olga Sultan. Eddie also served on the Board of Trustees of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Hawaii Nature Conservancy and Oahu Country Club where he was an active member for over 50 years. In addition to non-profit work, Eddie participated in a variety of community activities over the years including serving on the city’s Ethics Commission.

Eddie Sultan is survived by his wife of 50 years, Carroll Sultan, his son, Edward D. Sultan, III, his daughter-in-law, Rae Sultan, his daughters, Julie Sultan, Linda Anthony and Susan Loria, his son-in-law, Joe Loria, and four grandchildren, Ella and Walker Sultan and Jane and Kelly Loria.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Sultan Foundation, c/o Bank of Hawaii, Trustee, P.O. Box 3170, Honolulu, HI 96802. Donations are tax deductible and will be used to support local non-profit organizations in Eddie’s memory.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran