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In Memoriam: Bob Rohrman

September 4, 2020
Bob Rohrman, who during a 65-year career built his business into one of the biggest family-owned auto groups in the nation, died Sept. 1 at age 87.
An Army veteran and a lifelong resident of Lafayette, Indiana, Mr. Rohrman started selling cars there in 1955. In 1963, he opened his first store, a used-car lot, also in Lafayette, then his first franchised store in 1970. The Bob Rohrman Auto Group now counts about 30 new-car dealerships selling 13 different brands and stretching from Indianapolis to Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Mr. Rohrman was widely recognizable from his frequent television commercials that saw him hyping cars while sometimes attired as various characters and for the blooper outtakes gathered during their production.
His benevolence included giving $3.5 million to his high school alma mater to help build the Rohrman Performing Arts Center, and $15 million to Purdue University to renovate what now is named Rohrman Field.
Mr. Rohrman often gave his customers a copy of his 2015 autobiography, "A Fantastic Ride."  Survivors include three sons, two daughters, 16 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.