A close family contact said Gatton passed away on Monday at Bristol Regional Medical Center. He was 89 years old.
A native of Bremen, Kentucky, Gatton moved to Bristol, Tennessee in 1969 and purchased the Chevrolet and Cadillac dealership on State Street. In the following years, he grew his business to become the Bill Gatton Automotive Group, which he continued to own until his death.
Gatton became a household name in the Tri-Cities area thanks to his creative use of television and radio advertising.
Gaten earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky in 1954. He received. In addition to her UK degree, she has an MBA in Finance and Banking from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His entrepreneurial start was in 1959 as president and general manager of Bill Gatton Motors in Owensboro, Kentucky. Today, the Bill Gatton Automotive Group includes Chevrolet-Cadillac, Honda and Nissan dealers in Bristol, Tennessee, and Acura-Mazda dealers in Johnson City, Tennessee.
In 1995, Gaten donated several million dollars to the UK College of Business and Economics, the largest donation ever made to the university before 2022. In his honour, the UK Board of Trustees later renamed the college. university to “The Carol Martin”. Gaten College of Business and Economics.” Opened in 2006, East Tennessee State University’s Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy is also named after Mr Gatton.
Gaten also donated a large sum of money for training at the Talented Academy in western Kentucky, which opened in 2007 as the Carol Martin Gaten Math and Science Academy, where high school students completed their last two years of high school by taking a rigorous university. could do. Degree program. In February 2022, the University of Kentucky announced a $5 million gift from Gatton. It is the largest scholarship the UK has ever received and remains the largest donor to Gatton University.