DULUTH, Ga. — The founder of an automotive group that has since grown to nearly two dozen car dealerships across metro Atlanta has died at the age of 90.
Jim Ellis Jr., the founder of the Jim Ellis Automotive Group, died peacefully on Friday while surrounded by his family.
Growing up, Ellis worked a laundry list of odd jobs, including working on a farm, running a paper route, doing construction, running a concessions business and running a laundry route, working as a prison guard, selling insurance and real estate.
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After getting a degree in general management in 1957, Ellis served two years in the U.S. Army.
He began working with General Motors in 1960.
In 1970, Ellis and his wife, Billie, opened their first car dealership. Since then, the Jim Ellis Automotive Group has grown to 20 dealerships made up of 17 car brands and a collision center.
The automotive center broke ground on another dealership, Mercedes-Benz of South Atlanta, earlier this week.
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The couple was also able to establish the Jim and Billie Ellis Foundation, which has donated over $50 million to local organizations.
Jimmy Ellis, Ellis’ son who served as President and CEO of the automotive group, died unexpectedly last month at 67.
Ellis will be laid to rest on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
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