Frederic D. Wolfe

Born in Toledo in 1929, Frederic "Fritz" D. Wolfe graduated from Yale University in 1951 and Harvard Business School in 1955. He participated in college ROTC and served as an officer in the Air Force during the Korean War. After serving his country, he joined the family business, Lima Lumber Company.

In 1963, the company built its first nursing home, making the long-term health care business the most important part of their activities. After his father’s death in 1967, Wolfe became chairman of the board. The Lima Lumber Company name became Wolfe Industries, Inc., and later Health Care and Retirement (HCR ManorCare). The company started by leasing the facilities and eventually moved into operating the business.

In 1969, Wolfe hired his Yale roommate and together they started Health Care REIT. They financed the buildings that HCR ManorCare constructed, but it was a slow beginning because a REIT has to sell stock in order to grow. In 1981, HCR ManorCare became public and it was sold to Owens-Illinois in 1984. In 1992, Health Care REIT was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

When Wolfe and his Yale roommate reached 65 in 1995, they sold the management contract, and it became self-managed. Health Care REIT’s portfolio has grown to $18 billion. The price of the stock jumped from $16 per share to over $65, and the annual dividends are usually five percent.

Between HCR ManorCare and Health Care REIT, the long-term health care industry has become a noticeable growth business for Toledo.

Wolfe and his wife, Mary, support The Toledo Museum of Art and The Toledo Symphony Orchestra. They also support Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo. They are especially proud to have named The Wolfe Center for the Arts on the BGSU campus.

 

Published: 2013