Warren Avis Biography

On this day, August 4 in the year 1915, the founder of Avis Rent-A-Car System was born in Michigan, USA. His name was Warren Avis, the pilot who turned entrepreneur and writer.

Warren Avis
Warren Avis (Credit: nytimes.com)

Warren was a son of businessman engaged in lumber. A high school graduate, Warren began his career as an investigator in Michigan. Then he worked as a salesman for a drug company. During World War II, he enlisted in the US Air Force. At the time of his discharge, he held the rank of major.

After the war, Warren bought a Ford dealership. During his travels, he noticed the lack of convenient taxis serving the airports. So, in 1946, he set up Avis Rent a Car System in Florida and Michigan using $10,000 of his own money as initial capital. The business was profitable and it grew exponentially, branching out nationwide and internationally. Warren was not interested in making tons of money though. In 1954, he sold his shares in the company which until now bears the name of its founder.

Early retirement was boring though. He bought a 300-acre farm in Ann Arbor, Michigan and developed it into a commercial and industrial district. He also purchased hotels, banks, and technology companies and sold them as quickly as he acquired them whenever it was convenient to do so.

Warren died in 2007 at the age of 91. He married twice and had three children with his first wife. He wrote several business books including the Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success which he published in 1987.


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