Died: April 24, 2007 (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Best Known as: founder of Avis car rental company
Founder of the Avis car rental chain, the second largest in the country. He was a former major in the Army Air Force, and a car dealership owner in Michigan who was fed up with waiting for taxis at the airport. In 1946 he opened the first Avis Airlines Rent-A-Car in Florida and Michigan. It quickly grew to be the second largest in the country behind Hertz. Avis sold the company in 1954. He bought and sold many businesses over the years such as banks, technology companies, and sporting goods distributors.