Company sources said Bob Rorman, an iconic car dealer known for his comical TV commercials and eponymous dealerships in the suburbs, died peacefully from natural causes on Tuesday evening with his family next to him.
Rohrman was born the ninth of 11 children in a log cabin in Lafayette, Indiana. Rohrman, 87, built his car group from the ground up, starting in 1963 with a used car park in his hometown. Today the automotive group is represented in Indiana, a suburb of Chicago and Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rohrman opened his first auto show with Toyota in 1970, and under his leadership, the Bob Rohrman Auto Group has grown to become one of the largest private dealership groups in North America with 27 new car dealerships, company officials said.
In the suburbs, Bob Rohrman’s offices are located in Schaumburg, Palatine, Arlington Heights, Gurney and Oak Brook.
The more serious side of his TV advertising image has been found in his charitable donations to the communities where his dealerships are located.
He recently donated funds to build a state-of-the-art tennis complex for Lafayette Central Catholic High School, the Performing Arts Center at Lafayette-Jefferson Public High School, and a major gift that led to the Roorman Field name being given at Purdue University. Ross-Ade Stadium.
“The Rohrman family cannot express their gratitude to every employee and friend who have worked alongside him over the years and hope to continue his legacy through the Bob Rohrman Auto Group,” the company said in a written statement. “His family will remember him most for his endless love and dedication, generous heart for charity, daring spirit, infectious laugh and love of Purdue football.”
Wednesday morning had not yet been scheduled for the funeral.