H. Wayne Huizenga, a successful businessman, founding owner of the Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers and the former owner of the Miami Dolphins, died on Thursday, March 22, at the age of 80. His wife, Marti, died in Jan. 2017. Huizenga had four children: Wayne, Jr., Ray, Scott and Pam, as well as eight grandchildren. Bob Henninger, executive vice president for Huizenga Holdings, reported that Huizenga succumbed to a decades-long battle with cancer. Huizenga gave a generous donation to NSU, thus becoming the benefactor of the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. He was also a member of NSU’s Board of Trustees.
Huizenga was a billionaire, creating several Fortune 500 companies, including Blockbuster Video and AutoNation, and donating to various philanthropic organizations such as the Salvation Army of Broward County and the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County throughout his years. At one point, he owned three sports teams in South Florida. According to Forbes in 2017, his net worth was estimated to have been $2.8 billion.
The self-made businessman began as a college dropout with a trash-hauling enterprise. After working his way up through various investments, he was given the top honor from the Horatio Alger Association, a recognition also received by Henry Kissinger and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In addition, he was a five-time recipient of Financial World Magazine’s “CEO of the Year,” and was declared the “Business Leader of the Year” by Georgetown University’s Business School.