Born in 1875 in Chicago, Illinois, he grew up in a Jewish orphanage in Cleveland, Ohio. He met his first wife Carrie Marcus in Dallas, Texas when they were both working at A. Harris & Company. Al married Carrie in 1905 and the couple moved to Atlanta with Carrie’s brother Herbert Marcus and his wife Minnie (Lichtenstein) Marcus. In Atlanta they did sales promotion for the Coca Cola Company, and was awarded a $25,000 bonus in exchange for the sales rights to Missouri and Kansas. The family moved back to Dallas and opened the upscale retail specialty department store Neiman Marcus in 1907.
Al was the broker and the promoter of the store, which specialized in ready-to-wear, fine-tailored, high-fashion clothing. Neiman traveled unrelentingly to find the best possible clothing money could buy from locales such as New York, Europe and beyond.
In 1928 Al divorced his wife Carrie and Carrie’s brother, and his partner, Herbert Marcus bought Neiman’s share in the company for $250,000 on the condition that Neiman would not compete with Neiman Marcus in Dallas.