Bob Rohrmann, an iconic auto dealer known for his humorous TV commercials and suburban dealerships, died of natural causes next to his family on Tuesday evening, company sources said.
Rohrmann, 87, who was born the ninth of 11 children in a recording room in Lafayette, Indiana, built his automotive team off the ground, starting in 1963 with a lot of used cars in his hometown. Today the auto group is based in Indiana, suburban Chicago and Wisconsin, Kenosha.
Rohrmann introduced its first new car dealer with Toyota in 1970, and under his guidance Bob Rohrmann Auto Group grew into one of the largest private dealer groups in North America, with 27 new car dealerships, company representatives said.
In the suburbs, Bob Rohrman dealerships are located in Schaumburg, Palatine, Arlington Heights, Kourney and Oak Brook.
A very serious side to his television business personality was seen in his philanthropic and charitable contributions to the communities where his dealerships are located.
He recently donated funds to Lafayette Central Catholic High School for a state-of-the-art tennis campus, Lafayette Jefferson Public High School Performing Arts Center and a leading prize that led to the naming of Rohman Field at the University of Purdue. Rose-Ade Stadium.
“The Rohrmann family cannot express their gratitude to every employee and friend who has worked on his side for many years, and I look forward to continuing his legacy through the Bob Rohman Auto Group,” the company said in a written statement. “His family will remember him very much for his endless love and loyalty, generous heart for benevolence, ferocious spirit, contagious laughter and love for Burdock football.”
Final arrangements were pending Wednesday morning.