Retail, WWII veteran Hilbert Margol receives Legion of Honour medal during D-Day commemoration

Margol was one of the founders of former Furniture Today Top 100 Retailer Nationwide Warehouse & Storage in Norcross, Georgia

NORMANDY, France — Hilbert “Hibby” Margol, a veteran of the furniture industry and World War II, received France’s highest military and civilian award, the National Order of the Legion of Honour, during a ceremony marking this week’s 80th anniversary of the D-Day Allied landing in Normandy.

Hilbert Margol during the D-Day commemoration ceremony

Margol, who turned 100 earlier this past spring, was one of 11 American veterans who was honored during the commemoration of the landing. He received the medal of honor from France President Emmanuel Macron and was congratulated by U.S. President Joe Biden at the ceremony.

While he was not part of the actual D-Day landing, he fought in France as part of the 392nd Field Artillery Battalion, 42nd Infantry Division.

Margol receives the French Legion of Honour from France President Emmanuel Macron.

Margol and his late brother Howard, and their associate Mike Belford, were the co-founders of former Furniture Today Top 100 Retailer Nationwide Warehouse & Storage in Norcross, Georgia. It was an offshoot of their original business Hotel & Mattress Supply, which marketed mattresses around the country.

The Margol family ran the Southern division of Nationwide out of Norcross, and the Belford family ran the Northern division out of Columbus, Ohio.

According to a 2001 Furniture Today ranking, the retailer was No. 30 on the Top 100 list, with 159 stores and estimated sales of $219.1 million in 2000.

An estimated 180 American veterans made the journey to Normandy to commemorate the anniversary. Many were flown over to France courtesy of Delta Airlines.

U.S. President Joseph Biden congratulates Margol at the event.

Bob O’Neill, industry veteran and founding director of The Monday Co., also attended the event. He first got to know the Margol family through his time at supplier Rosalco, and he and his family have remained friends with the Margol family ever since.

“Having an apartment in Paris, it was my great honor to see my good friend and former major customer, Hibby Margol, get honored by both the French and U.S. presidents to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D Day,” O’Neill told Home News Now. 

“Hibby is a true American war hero and entrepreneur,” O’Neill added. “He always encouraged me to think big when I was a 20-some-year-old Georgia sales rep calling on him in the 1970s. He would always be available as a business mentor to me as my career expanded. It gave me great pride as an American and as a furniture man to be in France for this event.” 

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter for breaking news, special features and early access to all the industry stories that matter!

Sponsored By: