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Hertz Files for Bankruptcy After Rental-Car Demand Vanishes

The car-rental and leasing company Hertz, based in Estero, Florida, filed for bankruptcy late Friday, after coronavirus pandemic stoped travel and the global economic collapse in pandemic destroyed demand for its vehicles.

The second-largest U.S car-rental-company founded in 1918, will keep operating until it devises a plan to pay creditors and turn around the business.

The company operates 10,200 corporate and franchisee locations globally.  A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Hertz has more than $1 billion cash on hand… [Bloomberg]

John D. Hertz, the founder, born to a Jewish family in Szklabinya, Austria-Hungary. His family emigrated to Chicago when he was five.  Later on, he moved to New Your City.

As a young boy he was a boxer, fighting under the name “Dan Donnelly”. In his first job he was selling newspapers, but soon becomes a journalist for the Chicago Morning News, who lost his job due to a merger with another publication.

At this point, he entered into the car industry as a salesman. But as an entrepreneur in his soul he conceived a cab company with low prices so the common man could afford to use them. Soon he had a fleet of seven used cars operated as cabs. In 1915 he registered in Chicago his first company Yellow Cab Company. 10 years later, in 1925 Hertz held these positions, according to Wikipedia:

President of the Yellow Cab Company
Chairman Benzoline Motor Fuel Company
Chairman Chicago Motor Coach Company
Chairman Fifth Avenue Coach Company
Chairman New York Transportation Company
Chairman Omnibus Corporation of America
Chairman Yellow Sleeve-Valve Engine Works
Chairman Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company
In 1926, he sold a majority share in Yellow Cab to General Motors. With the sale, Hertz joined GM’s board of directors.

John Hertz died on October 8, 1961.

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