The Bill Cook Story: Ready, Fire, Aim!
Bill Cook epitomizes the American success story. His business ventures in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, genetics, real estate, retail management, and travel services have made him a billionaire. Yet, Cook continues to lead a modest life, involving himself in a variety of philanthropic activities that have included historic preservation and even a marching band. This riveting story is the first-ever biography of the entrepreneur who, working from the spare bedroom of his Bloomington, Indiana, apartment in 1963 with a $1,500 investment, began to construct the wire guides, needles, and catheters that would become the foundation of the global multi-billion-dollar Cook Group. Biographer Bob Hammel, with extraordinary access to Cook, his files, and his associates, has created a vivid portrait of this modern, multidimensional Horatio Alger--quirky humor, widely varied interests, and all. Informative and inspiring, this book celebrates an exceptional self-made individual.
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About the Author
Bob Hammel served as a sports editor and columnist on Indiana newspapers for 50 years. For 30 of those years he was sports editor and columnist for the Bloomington Herald-Times. The recipient of many honors and awards for sports writing, he is the author of eight books, including Beyond the Brink with Indiana (IUP, 1987) and A Banner Year (IUP, 1993). With Bob Knight, he co-authored Knight: My Story. Hammel lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
The subject of this biography, Bill Cook, is said to 'epitomize the American success story'. From the early days of conducting business from the spare bedroom in his apartment, Cook built up a global multi-billion dollar business. So far, so American Pie. But the twist in the tale is that Cook continued to live a modest life and spends his money on a wide array of philanthropic causes, from historic preservation to marching bands. Whilst it seems a bit of an exaggeration to suggest this is typical (most super-wealthy givers seem comfortable being simultaneously conspicuous consumers and philanthropic), it is always fascinating to gain insights into the life and thoughts of notable donors. Given unlimited access to the subject and his wife, the author is able to paint a particularly intimate portrait, albeit one that is written in a style that never lets the reader forget his day job as a sports journalist. Readers will either like or loathe Hammel's writing style - breathlessly short sections, bullet-pointed paragraphs and a plot-driven account full of narrative tricks - but those who stick with the text will emerge with many insights into the mind of a generous, though probably atypical, American businessman.--Beth Breeze "Philanthropy UK Newsletter"
Hammel's engaging book is a tribute to a remarkable man.-- "Bloomington Herald Times"
. . . Given unlimited access to the subject and his wife, the author is able to paint a particularly intimate portrait. . . [Readers] will emerge with many insights into the mind of a generous, though probably atypical, American businessman.September 2008--Beth Breeze "Publications Editor"
The Bill Cook Story is as exciting as any championship series. Told by a master storyteller, the narrative sweeps the reader through the personal and private lives of Bill and Gayle Cook.Vol. 106, no. 4, December 2010-- "Indiana Magazine of History"