Blockbuster founder, Fla. teams owner dead at 80

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MIAMI — College dropout Wayne Huizenga started with a trash hauling company, struck gold during America’s brief bond with VHS tapes and ultimately owned three professional sports teams.

Huizenga owned Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation additionally, the world’s largest trash hauler, and was founding person who owns baseball’s Florida Marlins and also the NHL’s Florida Panthers. He bought the NFL’s Miami Dolphins for $138 million in 1994.

The the first thing he never got would have been a Super Bowl win.

Huizenga died late Thursday, in accordance with Valerie Hinkell, his longtime assistant. He was 80.

The Marlins won the 1997 World Series as well as Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Final in 1996, but Huizenga’s beloved Dolphins never reached an excellent Bowl as they owned the.

Huizenga earned a cult-like following among business investors who watched him build Blockbuster Entertainment within 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.

Harry Wayne Huizenga came to be in a very Chicago suburb Dec. 29, 1937, into a family of garbage haulers. He attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., but dropped out and began his personal garbage hauling business in Pompano Beach, Fla., in 1962.

He eventually purchased several competitors, expanding throughout South Florida. In 1968, he merged while using Chicago sanitation company his uncles owned, creating Waste Management Inc., which eventually became the world’s largest trash company. That became his technique of operation — becoming the 1st national player in industries which were covered with smaller than average and local operations. He resigned in the company 26 years ago, taking $100 million obtainable.

But retirement bored him and the man soon began buying a wide selection of small establishments like hotels and pest control management companies. In 1987, a company partner persuaded him to see Blockbuster, a smaller chain of video stores. During the time, video stores were mostly locally owned mom-and-pop operations. Huizenga didn’t even possess a VCR.

The stores were neat carried 10,000 titles, Much in excess of the normal corner video store. He loved the notion and thought it may possibly end up being the McDonald’of video. He as well as two partners bought 43 percent within the business for $19 million and became chairman and president. By 1991, the chain had grown to a number exceeding 1,800 stores, with one opening every 17 hours, normally.

In 1994, Viacom bought Blockbuster, next publicly traded company, for as much as $8 billion.

In 1960, he married Joyce VanderWagon. Together that they two children, Wayne Jr. and Scott. They divorced in 1966. Wayne married his second wife, Marti Goldsby, in 1972. She died in 2017.

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