Leonard Hawk pictured at The Rental Show in 2006.

Leonard Hawk pictured at The Rental Show in 2006.

Leonard Hawk, one of the first founders of the American Rental Association (ARA) and its first president, has died at the age of 91.

Mr Hawk’s rental career spanned more than 50 years.

In 1954 he opened two United Rent-Alls franchises in Illinois. The following year, he and other franchise operators created the National Rental Operators Mutual Association. In September 1955, this was renamed the American Rental Association and Mr Hawk served for two years as president from 1956.

Christine Wehrman, ARA executive vice president and CEO, said: “Leonard was a good friend who openly shared with me the stories of the creation of the ARA. I can’t tell you how valuable and special our conversations were to me personally.”

The ARA honoured Mr Hawk by naming him in the Rental Hall of Fame in 2001, and inviting him to give the keynote speech at the 2006 Rental Show, where the association celebrated its 50th anniversary.

The Leonard Hawk Founders Scholarship, now awarded annually to the ARA Foundation’s top scholarship applicant, was set up in 2009.

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