Industrialist Michael Strauss passed away yesterday at the age of 86. He is the former chairman of the Strauss Group and was one of the founders and pivotal developers of the company.Under his leadership, the company became the second-biggest food product conglomerate in Israel.Strauss became chairman of Strauss Dairies in 1975, after the death of his father. In 1991, he was appointed president and chairman of the Strauss Group.Strauss was recognized for his contribution to Israel’s economic development in 2007, when he received the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Achievement and Economic Award. In 1983, he became the first person from the food industry to receive Israel’s Industry Award.The businessman spent the last years of his life involved in public service and activism. He worked to develop the city of Acre, because of his deep commitment to coexistence in Israel, and was awarded honorary citizenship in the city in 2006.Strauss was born in Germany in 1934 and made aliyah with his parents, settling in Nahariya in 1936. In his youth, he was part of the rebellion against the British mandate and helped to smuggle Jewish refugees into Israel.He served in the Israeli Navy. After his release from service, Strauss decided to join his parents working in the dairy business. He studied dairy production in Israel and then in Switzerland. He later studied business at Harvard.He is survived by his three children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.