March 12, 2008 (Waterloo, WI) – The founder of Trek Bicycle Corp., Richard “Dick” Burke, passed away on the weekend due to complications from heart surgery while surrounded by his family. Burke was 73 years old and built Trek into one of the most successful bike brands in the USA with revenues of $700 million US from sales of 1.5 million bikes of its various brands including Trek, LeMond, Gary Fisher, Bontrager and Klein.
Burke, who was born in Chicago in 1934 and later moved to Milwaukee, founded the company in a red barn in Waterloo, Wisconsin, just east of Madison. He was a big supporter of advocacy issues and Trek is involved with IMBA, Bikes Belong, and most recently the company’s latest initiative, 1 World 2 Wheels.
One of the company’s biggest success stories was having Lance Armstrong win seven Tour de France titles on a Trek making it a household name. Dick’s son, current Trek president John Burke, said his father’s health had been deteriorating “and over the weekend he said goodbye to close family and friends. It was vintage Big Guy,” said Burke an AP report.
Richard “Dick” Burke is survived by his wife Camille, five children, and nine grandchildren. Pedal joins the cycling communities around the world in sending condolences to the family and friends.