Rick Case, the Broward car dealer entrepreneur and major philanthropist, has died at 77 years old, according to the Miami Herald’s news partner CBS 4.
Case died Monday after battling cancer, a Rick Case Automotive Group spokesperson told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He passed in his home.
Case was the founder and CEO of The Rick Case Automotive Group, which is based in Sunrise and spanned 16 dealerships in Florida, Georgia and Ohio, according to the group’s website.
Case opened his first car dealership in 1962 in Akron, Ohio. In 1985, he and his wife Rita moved to Fort Lauderdale, where they opened the first Hyundai and Acura dealership in the United States, according to the company’s website.
In 2015, the company surpassed a billion dollars in sales, the website said.
The couple was well known in South Florida for their philanthropic efforts, especially for their work in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County and Nova Southeastern University. In 2017, Nova named its arena “The Rick Case Arena,” which seats nearly 5,000.
“For more than 15 years, NSU has benefited from the organizational and entrepreneurial skills of Rita and Rick Case,” said Dr. George Hanbury, NSU’s president, said in a 2017 press release about the naming of the arena. “It is only fitting that a university started by South Florida entrepreneurs continues to flourish thanks to the time, talent and treasure of such a successful businessman and businesswoman.”
According to the auto group’s website, Rick and Rita have raised more than $100 million to support charities in South Florida.