|Birth Day:||February 11, 1901|
|Death Date:||Oct 27, 1977 (age 76)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Tony Hulman died on Oct 27, 1977 (age 76).
He saved a Speedway that was a shadow of its former glory after a series of fatal crashes, the Great Depression, and World War II took their toll. Its owner,Eddie Rickenbacker, sold it for $750,000.
Hulman was born in 1901 in Terre Haute. He was educated at St. Benedict's School at Terre Haute, Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and Worcester Academy in Massachusetts. Hulman participated in the high hurdles and the pole vault at Worcester.
Upon graduation from Yale's Sheffield Scientific School in 1924, Hulman returned to Terre Haute to work for Hulman & Company, the family business run by his father Anton Hulman, Sr. However, Anton, Sr. told his managers, "Don't give Tony a place in the business. Let him work for it."
Hulman married Mary Fendrich, the daughter of Fendrich Cigar Company owner John H. Fendrich, in 1926. Their first child, a daughter named Mary, died just hours after her birth in 1930. In 1934, the couple's second daughter, also named Mary, but better known as "Mari", was born. Mari would later give Tony and Mary four grandchildren. Their sole grandson, Anton Hulman "Tony" George, would carry on the family's racing and business traditions.
Hulman is probably best known for buying the dilapidated Indianapolis Motor Speedway from a group led by World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker immediately after World War II, seeing it as a way to promote Clabber Girl. Influenced by three-time Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw (who became the track's president in the early years of the Hulman regime), Hulman made numerous improvements to the track in time for the race to be held in 1946.
Wabash Valley Broadcasting was originally started by Terre Haute, IN. attorney Raymond J. Kearns, whom was the president of WVB. Shortly after Wabash Valley Broadcasting was incorporated, Anton "Tony" Hulman, Jr. became a stockholder. The company (Wabash Valley Broadcasting) started radio station WTHI-AM, which went on air January 1948 as an ABC affiliate. Hulman later headed a small group of men who purchased the holdings of all original shareholders. Hulman & Co. then sold Wabash Valley Broadcasting to Emmis Broadcasting in a $90 million deal, Wabash Valley Broadcasting consisted of television station WTHI, radio stations WTHI-FM, WTHI-AM and WWVR-FM as well as television station WFTX in Fort Myers, FL.
Following Shaw's death in a plane crash on October 30, 1954, Hulman stepped into his soon-to-be-familiar role as the "face" of the Speedway.
One such property that the family owned for years that became the subject of much speculation and scorn was the land occupied by the former Terre Haute House hotel, which stood at the northeast corner of Seventh Street and Wabash Avenue in Terre Haute (the historic former "Crossroads of America" junction of U.S. Highways 40 and 41). Hulman purchased the hotel in 1959 and closed it to the public in 1970. Noted for the rich and famous (as well as infamous) who stayed there during the hotel's early years, the hotel was the target of numerous attempts at revitalization between 1970 and 2005, with the city of Terre Haute taking a purchase option on the property in 2004 in an effort to finally make something happen. None came to fruition, and in the fall of 2005, the Hulman family (through Terre Haute Realty Corp.) sold the hotel and two other historic buildings to a limited liability corporation, Seventh & Wabash, LLC, owned by Terre Haute developer, Greg Gibson, who demolished the structures for redevelopment. A new hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn – Terre Haute House, opened in the fall of 2007.
The Hulmans were well known in Indiana for their philanthropy and dedication to higher education; Terre Haute's Rose Polytechnic Institute received gifts of millions of dollars over the years. The Hulmans' generosity led the board of Rose Polytechnic to rename the school Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the couple's honor in 1971. Indiana State's Hulman Center arena (opened in 1973) and Hulman Memorial Student Union (completed in the mid-1990s) for the couple carry the Hulman name in recognition of the family's donations for their construction. Mari Hulman George established a Center for Equine Studies at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, west of Terre Haute.
The 1977 "500" would be memorable for many for two reasons. A. J. Foyt won his fourth "500" that day, and Foyt asked Hulman to accompany him in the pace car for the victory lap. The pair were photographed smiling and waving to the fans. It was the first time Hulman had ever taken a victory lap with the winner, and he would not live to do so again.
At 76 years old, Hulman appeared to be in good health; he was always busy maintaining his business interests in Indianapolis and Terre Haute. In mid-October 1977, he hosted the annual Speedway press dinner. A few days later, though, he and his close friend, Hoosier sportscaster Chris Schenkel, were the grand marshals for the Fall Festival parade in nearby Martinsville, Indiana, where Hulman refused Schenkel's offer of his coat in the cool autumn weather. On the night of October 27, 1977, Hulman died of heart failure caused by a ruptured aortic aneurysm on the operating table in St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery today, along with other members of his family.
He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1991. He is a member of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990. He received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1975.
In recent years, however, as the family has concentrated primarily on the Speedway and racing-related businesses, they have slowly begun to divest themselves of some of Hulman's real estate holdings and "non-core" businesses, such as Wabash Valley Broadcasting, their radio and television holding company, which was sold to Emmis Communications in 1997. Emmis sold WTHI-TV and several of their other television stations to LIN TV Corporation in 2005.
Tony's grandfather founded the Hulman & Co. wholesale grocery business, which Tony took over running.
Currently, Tony Hulman is 120 years, 0 months and 22 days old. Tony Hulman will celebrate 121st birthday on a Friday 11th of February 2022. Below we countdown to Tony Hulman upcoming birthday.