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Kalamazoo auto dealer Bill Wright dies in Florida

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Kalamazoo businessman and philanthropist Bill Wright.
Rock Fest, put on by Wright for Kids.
Kalamazoo businessman and philanthropist Bill Wright.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Kalamazoo auto dealer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Wright has died in Florida where he has a second home. TV-3 reports that he died Saturday.

 Wright last made news in Kalamazoo when he volunteered to replace the gifts that a Battle Creek family lost because of a burglary.

Wright had become a local celebrity, starring in a series of off-beat auto ads, and was also an advocate against child abuse, admitting himself that he had been a victim of neglect and abuse as a child.

He established “Wright for Kids”, a fund to address the issue, organizing a summer rock concert at the Arcadia Festival Site to raise funds.

He was also the owner of the Kalamazoo Kings Baseball team during their run at Homer Stryker Field.

The cause of death has not been released. Funeral plans are pending.

Wright was 54.

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