The brothers were partners in a shoe company Adi started, Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). Rudi joined in 1924, however the brothers became rivals following World World War II and started their own companies in 1948. Initially calling the new company "Ruda" (Rudolf Dassler), it was soon changed to its present name of Puma.
Puma is the native Quechua word for cougar, from there it went into German as well as other languages, such as Spanish, French, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Czechoslovakian, Swedish, Bulgarian, Danish, Norwegian, Croatian, Serbian and Slovene.
In 1924, Rudolf joined the business, which became the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). Rudolf was affectionately known as "Bobby" because this was the only sound that he could make for the first three years of his life.
Rudolf was drafted, and later captured, while Adolf stayed behind to produce boots for the Wehrmacht. Under his direction, Puma remained a small provincial company.
Rudi Dassler died on 27 October 1974 of lung cancer at the age of 76.