Edward Brennan, who started as a sales associate at a Sears store in Wisconsin and rose to become chairman and chief executive officer of Sears, Roebuck & Co. in the mid-1980s, has died at 73.

Brennan, who later took over as board chairman at American Airlines parent AMR Corp. when previous chairman Donald Carty was forced out amid financial and labor tumult, died Thursday night at his home in the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge after a brief illness, the Chicago Tribune reported on its Web site.

The Chicago native served on a variety of boards, including McDonald's Corp., 3M Corp. and Exelon Corp. He also previously served as chairman of the board of trustees at DePaul University and Marquette University, his alma mater.

- AP