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Founder of Trek Bicycle, Richard Burke, Dies

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MILWAUKEE, US – Dick Burke, the founder of Trek Bicycle Corporation has died at the age of 73. His son John Burke, the company’s president stated that his father died from complications from heart surgery. In 1976, Richard Burke

MILWAUKEE, US – Dick Burke, the founder of Trek Bicycle Corporation has died at the age of 73. His son John Burke, the company’s president stated that his father died from complications from heart surgery. In 1976, Richard Burke founded the company in a red barn in Waterloo in the state of Wisconsin.

Burke was born in Chicago in 1934 and moved to Milwaukee when he enrolled at Marquette University. During the bike craze in the 1970s, he realized there was a need for a higher-end builder of bikes in the U.S., because all the bikes in that segment were imports. He couldn’t find any brands to distribute himself, so he started Trek. Although his background was in finance and credit, he decided to take the risk.

Today the company, known for brands including Trek, Gary Fisher, Klein and Greg LeMond, sells 1.5 million bikes a year and does US $700 million in sales. The company now has a network of more than 5,000 dealers worldwide and 1,600 employees.

Trek is known among cyclists for making the bikes that Lance Armstrong rode in his Tour de France victories. Burke went to France himself to celebrate Armstrong’s first Tour de France victory.

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