Saturday, April 16, 2011
RIP: Bill Cook
Indiana lost its wealthiest and most generous citizen yesterday, Bloomington's Bill Cook (80), founder of the Cook Group, a manufacturer of medical devices. Cook's investment in the French Lick Resort Hotel and the West Baden Springs Hotel saved those architectural marvels for posterity. He gave very generously to IU and other universities. Most recently, he plowed more than $7 million into the old Centrum building on Indianapolis' near northside. Cook died on the eve of a grand opening gala for the renovated Indiana Landmarks Center previously scheduled for this evening. "As luck would have, Cheri and I were able to have dinner with Bill and Gayle Cook in the newly renovated Old Centrum building just last Saturday," Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a statement on Cook's passing. "I'll always remember that bit of good fortune, as I will always remember this legendary Hoosier." Cook will definitely be missed. Unlike the states other billionaires, he didn't have his hand out all the time asking for public subsidies to enrich himself or threatening to move his business out-of-state if his company wasn't given special tax breaks. Instead, he was always looking for ways to help other Hoosiers with the wealth he and his wife were fortunate to accumulate from their family business.