Leonard Hawk, one of the founders and the first president of the American Rental Association (ARA), passed away May 6 at the age of 91.
Hawk opened United Rent-Alls franchises in Moline and Rock Island, Ill., in 1954, and in 1955 invited franchise operators within a 500-mile radius of Moline, as well as Burnett, to meet at the two stores. Those meetings led to the creation of the National Rental Operators Mutual Association with Hawk elected temporary president. In September 1955, the group was renamed the American Associated Rental Operators and eventually became ARA. Hawk served as president from 1956-1958.
Hawk was named to the Rental Hall of Fame in 2001, and in 2009 the ARA Foundation honored him by creating the Leonard Hawk Founders Scholarship, which is awarded to the ARA Foundation scholarship program’s top applicant each year.