April 19, 2024
Who Said That?

Photo: Phillip Pessar | Flickr

Former Anthony Abraham Chevrolet Showroom Demolition

Who Said That?

Florida's Quote of the Day

| 2/25/2011

When you worked for him, you made good money. He didn't take shortcuts.

-- Manuel Villamanan, president of Midway Ford Izuzu, speaking of Anthony Abraham

Anthony Abraham, philanthropist, auto dealer, real estate investor, advisor to presidents, marketer extraordinaire and venerable Miami institution, turns 100 Friday, and more than 375 people will crowd into the Biltmore Country Club to celebrate a man whose Horatio Alger story has inspired friends, family and fellow businessmen with the simple values of hard work and generosity for the less fortunate.

Guests from Coral Gables to Beirut and beyond will pose for pictures with him under an Arab-themed tent, munch on such traditional Lebanese hors d’oeuvres as olives and dried figs, and listen to an Arabic band play some of his sentimental favorites. Abraham will get to enjoy a cigar, the first one in almost two years, and dress in his signature formal apparel.

“My father never leaves the house unless he’s in a coat and tie,” says Norma Jean Abraham, the fourth of his five adopted children. “It doesn’t matter where he’s going or what he’s doing.”

Though he cannot always speak, many believe he no longer has to. His legacy talks plenty. At one time he owned the largest Chevrolet dealership in South Florida on the corner of LeJeune Road and Southwest Eighth Street, a two-block landmark visible at a distance because of its parade of waving American flags. He made a lot of money selling cars, but never foreign-made. He refused to hawk them, even when given the opportunity to do so.

“A foreign automaker wanted him to be the Southeast distributor and he could’ve made even more money, but he wouldn’t do it,” recalls Tommy Abraham, who now helps run many of his father’s investments and the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation. “He believed America had given him an opportunity and this was his way of giving back. He thought Americans should buy American. He was a man of his convictions and he stuck by them.”

Read more at the Miami Herald.

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