Waste Management founder Wayne Huizenga dead at 80

H. Wayne Huizenga built fractured industries into conglomerates.

H. Wayne Huizenga, who built Waste Management, Blockbuster and AutoNation into powerhouse companies, died at age 80, the Sun-Sentinel of South Florida reported Friday.

Huizenga honed expertise building fractured industries into conglomerates and dominated trash collection, automotive sales and video sales.

In the early 1990s, he owned three of South Florida's professional sports teams: the Miami Dolphines, the Florida Panthers and the Florida Marlins. Under Huizenga, the Marlins won the World Series and the Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Finals.

His net worth of $2.8 billion in 2017 made him the 288th wealthiest person in America, according to Forbes.

The Sun-Sentinel reported that Huizenga got his start by borrowing $5,000 from his father to buy a truck and started a garbage route. Seven years later, his company operated 20 trucks in Florida.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WM WASTE MANAGEMENT INC. 207.07 +2.00 +0.98%

Waste Management resulted from the merger of his company with three Chicago-based trash haulers, including two descended from his grandfather's trash-hauling business. Waste Management went public in 1971.

A philanthropist, Huizenga made $2.6 million in contributions in 2015 alone through his family foundation, the Sun-Sentinel reported.