Michael G DeGroote is a Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist and self-made billionaire. He has an estimated net worth of $1.45 billion, which makes him one of the wealthiest people in the country. Besides being known for his business ventures, DeGroote is also renowned as a major private donor to local educational institutions such as Hillfield Strathallan College and McMaster University. He was born in Belgium in 1933, but his parents decided to relocate to Canada when he was 14 years old.
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In 1959, DeGroote bought Laidlaw Transport Ltd, which by then was a small trucking company that was based in Hagersville, Ontario. Under his leadership, the small firm expanded and started venturing into school bus and solid waste industry. By the mid 70s, the firm had turned into a large and successful business. The success of the business was enough to enable DeGroote buy the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League.
In 1990, DeGroote decided to retire from active running of his business. He resigned as a Laidlaw director on December 1990. Since his retirement, he has been involved in various business ventures, such as Century Business Services, NRX Global Inc, AutoNation and Republic Waste. In 1990, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. The 81 year old billionaire is also an active philanthropist who has donated millions of money in support of various charities.