Self-made billionaire and owner of the Ambassador Bridge dies at 93

Owner of the Ambassador Bridge and self-made American billionaire Manuel Moroun, known as Matty, died Sunday at the age of 93, according to a letter sent to CBC from WDIV-TV in Detroit. 

The letter, signed by Moroun’s son Matthew, was sent to employees at the family’s trucking firm and says that Moroun died at his home due to congestive heart failure. 

“My dad loved his family and that extended to his work family,” reads the letter. “He poured his heart into his work and for over seven decades spent his time leading and protecting us.” 

The letter continues to say that Moroun died at home, surrounded by his family. 

CBC News has not confirmed Moroun’s death with family. 

The 93-year-old Ambassador Bridge was owned by Moroun since 1979. Moroun fought against a government-owned bridge being built over the Detroit River between Ontario and Michigan. (Carlos Osorio/Reuters)

Moroun is best known for his private ownership of the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest border crossing between Canada and the United States, handling commercial traffic and travellers between Detroit and Windsor, Ont.

According to Crains Detroit, who also confirmed Moroun’s death, the billionaire owned the Ambassador Bridge since 1979. His ownership of the bridge led to conflict between himself and the governments in Canada and Michigan over control of the crossing. Moroun was also against the development of a competing crossing, the Gordie Howe International Bridge, that is now being built downriver from the Ambassador Bridge.

He was known as a trucking mogul and owner of Central Transport — a nation-wide trucking network. He previously owned the former Michigan Central Station from 1992 until 2018. 

Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse commented on Maroun’s death to CBC. 

“Condolences to Matty Maroun, to his family and friends. He oversaw changes and transportation on the border — quite significant as we move from rail to transportation of trucks and just-in-time delivery,” he said.

“His view of transportation and changes was significant for our community and our country.”

Moroun’s net worth is estimated at $1.6 billion according to Forbes and Crain’s estimated that the Moroun family companies’ revenue in 2019 was $2.86 billion. 

The businesses run by Moroun, according to Crains, include Universal Logistics Holdings, Inc., P.A.M. Transport and the Detroit International Bridge Co., which runs the Ambassador Bridge.

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