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Jim Moran

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Jim Moran

Full name:  James Martin Moran
Born:  August 8, 1918
Birthplace:  Chicago, Illinois
Died:  April 24, 2007
Place of Death:  Hillsboro Beach, Florida
Wife:  Jan
Children:  Arline McNally, Pat Moran, Jim Moran Jr.

Nicknamed "The Courtesy Man," Jim Moran was a successful auto dealership owner and 2005 inductee into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

He got his start in the auto business with a $360 loan in 1939.  He bought a Sinclair gas station and also sold used cars.

He served in the Army in World War II as an airborne infantryman.

In 1949 he opened a Hudson dealership, building it up to be the top Hudson dealership in the United States.  One of the reasons for his success, and how he got "The Courtesy Man" nickname, was by becoming the first Chicago auto dealer on television.  Starting in 1949 he represented his Courtesy Motor Sales himself in advertisements and sponsored television shows.

In 1956 he switched his dealership to Ford, and grew it to the world's largest Ford dealership.  The dealership sold $100 million in cars its first three years as a Ford operation.

In 1961, Jim Moran was on the cover of Time magazine.

In 1966, he was diagnosed with cancer.  At 46, he was told that he had less than a year to live.  He retired and moved to south Florida.

He did not die, however, and founded JM Enterprises, Inc.  The automotive company would eventually grow to be an $11.1 billion dollar operation, the 18th largest private corporation in the United States.  The company includes Southeast Toyota Distributors.

  • "He was my mentor.  He was a good, understanding person who empowered everyone to be a team player.  He never referred to people working for him.  He said we worked together."  Ray Scarpelli, owner of Raymond Chevrolet in Antioch, Illinois

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