Sam Weller, the venerable Salt Lake City bookseller, whose business thrived for more than 80 years despite threats from downtown redevelopment, a devastating fire and encroachment from national bookstore chains, died Tuesday. He was 88.
Weller was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States when he was just a child. His father, Gus, founded the Zion Bookstore in 1921. Weller took over the business when he was just 24, later changing the name to Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore. The store has been located at 254 South Main Street since 1961.
Family and friends say the business survived thanks to Weller's passion and foresight. He expanded the store's selection of nonfiction books about the West, and built one of the largest selections of used books west of the Mississippi.