Zale started his career at Zale Corporation and served in all areas of the business becoming Chairman and CEO until the company was sold in 1986 as the world’s largest retail jewelry store chain. Philanthropic and civic minded, Zale funded the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School. His family’s foundation, the MB and Edna Zale Foundation, continues to support education, health care and basic needs of the less fortunate.
Zale has endowed a Corps 21 Scholarship, founded the Zachary L. Davis ’08 Special Achievement Award, Sponsors the Corps of Cadets Robert M. Gates Award for Public Service and provided funding for the Buzbee Leadership Learning Center. His support to all A&M students includes the Aggies on Wall Street Endowment and the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing. Texas A&M University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 2003.