Billionaire Dies After Fall at Building Site

Ken Hendricks, 66, built ABC Supply Co. into home-supply chain
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 21, 2007 6:58 PM CST
An ABC Supply Co. race car. The company was founded by billionaire Ken Hendricks, who died today after falling through a hole in his unfinished garage roof.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Billionaire Ken Hendricks, 66, died today of head injuries after falling through a hole in his unfinished garage roof, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. Hendricks—a high-school dropout who turned ABC Supply Co. into a national building-supply chain—apparently fell through a tarp covering an unfinished portion of an addition to his home, suffering fatal head injuries in a Rockford, Ill., hospital.

The Beloit, Wis., native was worth some $3.5 billion, according to Forbes, which named him the 91st-richest person in the US. He began as a part-time roofer and ended up as Beloit’s “key benefactor,” drawing jobs to the city and supporting the arts. Said an official at Beloit College: "I think probably the most important thing he's done for Beloit is inspire."