Famous for his lighthearted TV commercials pitching his many auto dealerships, Bob Rohrman was a staple of Chicago area TV for many years.

If you've ever spent more than a few minutes watching Chicago TV, especially Chicago Cubs games, you know Bob Rohrman. With his signature line, "There's only one Bob Rohrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrman," he was as familiar to audiences as the shows and games on which his commercial ran.

I don't know who will be remembered more fondly, Bob Rohrman, or Lynn Hauldren, better known as the Empire Carpet Guy ("588 23-Hundred, Empiiiiiiiiiire").

Empire Carpet, Facebook

Here's some background info on Bob Rohrman, courtesy of Fox59.com:

Rohrman began selling cars in Lafayette in 1955 at a Ford dealership. By 1963, he decided there were no further opportunities there and struck out on his own–eventually growing the dealership network into one of the region’s largest.

He has been involved in several philanthropic ventures, donating money to build a tennis complex for Lafayette Central Catholic High School and giving money to build the multi-million-dollar Performing Arts Center at Lafayette Jefferson Public High School.

The football field at Purdue University’s Ross-Ade Stadium will bear Rohrman’s name for the upcoming season, the university announced in December 2019. The Rohrman family gifted the athletic department $15 million.

After hearing the news this morning, Joe Dredge and I got talking about how so many cities, including Rockford, have had business owners over the years who do their own commercials reach a high level of local celebrity and/or recognition. Just off the tops of our heads we thought of:

  • Al Grace (Al Grace Appliances)
  • Lee Hartsfield (B.Sanfield)
  • Lonnie (Lonnie's CarpetMax)
  • The "We're Dealing" Guy (Rock River Ford)
  • Scotty Bryden (Bryden Motors)
  • John (Mr. C's Family Restaurant)
  • Dr. T (Dental Dimensions)
  • Dale Gustafson (Gustafson's Furniture and Mattress)
  • Scott Williamson (Window Word of Rockford)

We know that there are more names to add to the list, but like I said, these were the ones we thought of in just a couple of minutes.

If we've missed one of your favorites, let us know!