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| Posted: 2018-08-22 02:42|
H. Wayne Huizenga Bob Feller Jersey , a college dropout who built a business empire that included Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation and three professional sports franchises, has died. He was 80.
Huizenga (HY'-zing-ah) died Thursday night at his home, said Valerie Hinkell, a longtime assistant. The cause was cancer, said Bob Henninger, executive vice president of Huizenga Holdings.
Starting with a single garbage truck in 1968, Huizenga built Waste Management Inc. into a Fortune 500 company. He purchased independent sanitation engineering companies, and by the time he took the company public in 1972, he had completed the acquisition of 133 small-time haulers. By 1983, Waste Management was the largest waste disposal company in the United States.
The business model worked again with Blockbuster Video, which he started in 1985 and built into the leading movie rental chain nine years later. In 1996, he formed AutoNation and built it into a Fortune 500 company.
Huizenga was founding owner of baseball's Florida Marlins and the NHL's Florida Panthers 鈥?expansion teams that played their first games in 1993. He bought the NFL's Miami Dolphins and their stadium for $168 million in 1994 from the children of founder Joe Robbie but had sold all three teams by 2009.
"Wayne Huizenga was a seminal figure in the cultural history of South Florida," current Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement. "He completely changed the landscape of the region's sports scene. ... Sports fans throughout the region owe him a debt of thanks."
The Marlins won the 1997 World Series, and the Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, but Huizenga's beloved Dolphins never reached a Super Bowl while he owned the team.
"If I have one disappointment Redskins Pernell McPhee Jersey , the disappointment would be that we did not bring a championship home," Huizenga said shortly after he sold the Dolphins to Ross. "It's something we failed to do."
Huizenga earned an almost cult-like following among business investors who watched him build Blockbuster Entertainment into the leading video rental chain by snapping up competitors. He cracked Forbes' list of the 100 richest Americans, becoming chairman of Republic Services, one of the nation's top waste management companies, and AutoNation, the nation's largest automotive retailer. In 2013, Forbes estimated his wealth at $2.5 billion.
For a time, Huizenga was also a favorite with South Florida sports fans, drawing cheers and autograph seekers in public. The crowd roared when he danced the hokeypokey on the field during an early Marlins game. He went on a spending spree to build a veteran team that won the World Series in the franchise's fifth year.
But his popularity plummeted when he ordered the roster dismantled after that season. He was frustrated by poor attendance and his failure to swing a deal for a new ballpark built with taxpayer money.
Many South Florida fans never forgave him for breaking up the championship team. Huizenga drew boos when introduced at Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino's retirement celebration in 2000 and kept a lower public profile after that.
In 2009, Huizenga said he regretted ordering the Marlins' payroll purge.
"We lost $34 million the year we won the World Series, and I just said, 'You know what, I'm not going to do that,'" Huizenga said. "If I had it to do over again, I'd say, 'OK Authentic Nicklas Backstrom Jersey , we'll go one more year.'"
He sold the Marlins in 1999 to John Henry, and sold the Panthers in 2001, unhappy with rising NHL player salaries and the stock price for the team's public company.
Tributes from three sports and beyond poured in, reflecting the range of his reach.
"Saddened to hear about the passing of successful entrepreneur and Great Floridian Wayne Huizenga," Gov. Rick Scott tweeted. "He had a tremendous impact on our state and the world of business."
The Marlins released a statement describing Huizenga as "the original Florida Marlin," and said he "will be remembered as much for his contributions to South Florida professional sports as he was for his many charitable endeavors in the surrounding community."
Huizenga's first sports love was the Dolphins 鈥?he had been a season-ticket holder since their first season in 1966. But he fared better in the NFL as a businessman than as a sports fan.
He turned a nifty profit by selling the Dolphins and their stadium for $1.1 billion, nearly seven times what he paid to become sole owner. But he knew the bottom line in the NFL is championships, and his Dolphins perennially came up short.
Huizenga earned a reputation as a hands-off owner and won raves from many loyal employees, even though he made six coaching changes. He eased Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula into retirement in early 1996, and Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wannstedt, interim coach Jim Bates, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron and Tony Sparano followed as coach.
Johnson tweeted: "A great man, one of the nicest individuals I have ever known, Wayne Huizenga passed away. RIP."
Harry Wayne Huizenga was born in the Chicago suburbs on Dec. 29 Cheap Daryl Worley Jersey , 1937, to a family of garbage haulers. He began his business career in Pompano Beach in 1962, driving a garbage truck from 2 a.m. to noon each day for $500 a month.
One customer successfully sued Huizenga, saying that in an argument over a delinquent account, Huizenga injured him by grabbing his testicles 鈥?an allegation Huizenga always denied.
"I never did that. The guy was a deputy cop. It was his word against mine, a young kid," he told Fortune magazine in 1996.
Huizenga was a five-time recipient of Financial World magazine's "CEO of the Year" award, and was the Ernst & Young "2005 World Entrepreneur of the Year."
Regarding his business acumen, Huizenga said: "You just have to be in the right place at the right time. It can only happen in America."
In 1960, he married Joyce VanderWagon. Together they had two chil The NFL is joining an effort for nonprofit organizations to support healthy lifestyle programs for veterans and their families.
The league will contribute $2 million to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which was established in 2006 after the television journalist was wounded by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq.
The foundation has invested more than $55 million for programs that empower the military and their families. The NFL will work with the Woodruff group in creating a grant referral system for nonprofits.
Anna Isaacson, the NFL senior vice president of social responsibility, says the league is committed to ”evolving its work in the military landscape and funding programs that will make a tangible, long-lasting impact.”
One of those programs is Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, a nationwide nonprofit that provides rehabilitative fly fishing programs for disabled active duty personnel and for disabled veterans. It has 8,500 participants and another 3 Richard Rodgers Jersey Elite ,500 volunteers who teach disabled veterans the intricacies of fly fishing and stages events locally, regionally and nationally.
”The BWF provides us with a grant each year that supports one of our largest programs for rod building,” says Todd Desgrosseilliers, president and CEO of Project Healing Waters who spent 31 years in the military and sustained traumatic head injuries in combat. ”We had over 900 veterans participate in it thanks to that. It’s part of a larger core of activities we have that include fly fishing education and outings.
”We meet on a regular basis, whether weekly or twice or month, with a minimum of once a month. This is a group of disabled veterans coming together with folks who care about them, and involved in an activity that is fun and therapeutic.”
An affiliation with the NFL is logical, says Marshall Lauck, chief growth and marketing officer for the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
”The NFL is such a prominent American brand and one that has a longstanding commitment to the vet community,” Lauck says. ”This is not something new to them, given their history with supporting veterans and the active military. It’s a time of increased interest on their part in how most effectively they can support the veteran community (through nonprofits).
”Our expertise can be very helpful for the NFL in its goals in supporting the veteran communities.”