Mari Hulman George Passes Away At 83 | Performance Racing Industry
News
Mari Hulman George Passes Away At 83
November 5, 2018
Hulman & Co. and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) Chairman of the Board Emeritus Mari Hulman George, a pioneer for women in motorsports, passed away November 3, in Indianapolis with her family by her side.
Mari Hulman George Passes Away At 83

Hulman & Co. and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman of the Board Emeritus Mari Hulman George passed away November 3, in Indianapolis with her family by her side. She was 83.

Hulman George served as IMS chairman from 1988-2016, but motorsports and the world-renowned racetrack were among the cornerstones of her life since her father, Anton “Tony” Hulman Jr., purchased the facility in November 1945 and saved it from almost certain demolition after World War II.

She was a pioneer as co-owner of a team that raced at the highest levels of Midwestern auto racing, in the 1950s and 1960s. She also touched the lives of countless Hoosiers through tireless, generous philanthropic efforts for her entire adult life, with a special focus on the arts, health care and, in particular, animal care.

Among a long list of several accomplishments, many which include philanthropic efforts tied into her motorsports reach, Hulman George created a program through which thousands of Indiana school children visited the Speedway each May on complimentary field trips to learn about the connections between education and motorsports. Those field trips continue to this day.

IMS prospered and evolved into a new era during Hulman George’s tenure as chairman of the board, from 1988-2016.

During that span, the Indianapolis 500 grew to unprecedented worldwide popularity. The facility also expanded its annual schedule beyond the Month of May to include the Brickyard 400 for the NASCAR Cup Series, the United States Grand Prix for the FIA Formula One World Championship and the Red Bull Indianapolis GP for the FIM MotoGP World Championship.

That evolution required significant capital improvements to the facility, such as the construction of the new Pagoda control tower, an infield road course that included parts of the famous 2.5-mile oval, new pit-side garages and various safety improvements.

IMS and INDYCAR also led the development of one of the most significant safety innovations in motorsports history—the energy-absorbing SAFER Barrier —during Mari’s tenure as chairman.

These contributions to IMS and motorsports – along with her charitable work for the racing community – led to Hulman George being inducted into the IMS Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2015.

Mari is survived by three daughters, Nancy George, Josie George and Kathi George-Conforti; a son, Anton H. “Tony” George; a stepdaughter, Carolyn Coffey; seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and her longtime companion, Guy Trollinger. She was predeceased by her husband, Elmer, and a stepson, Joseph George.

For more information, including funeral services and memorial contributions, visit here.

Recent News

(Photo of Mari Hulman George in 2011 courtesy of Shawn Gritzmacher/IMS).