Family Dollar was founded in 1959 by Leon Levine, a 21-year-old entrepreneur. In November of that year, the company's first store was opened, in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1961, their first store in South Carolina opened, followed by stores in Georgia and Virginia, which were opened in 1962 and 1965, respectively. During the 1960s, the store company was largely a southern United States operation. By 1969, there were fifty stores in Charlotte alone.