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Donald Aronou. Blessing and rock «king» of speedboats
 
Donald Joel Aronow was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NYC, to the family of Russian Jewish immigrants Herman and Ruth Aronow. His father owned a gas station and a taxi company, but went out of  business during the Great Depression.
 
From early childhood, Donald loved the sea: he was an accomplished swimmer, worked as a lifeguard, and even left the Brooklyn College before graduation to join the Merchant Marine at end of World War II.
 
After the war, he returned to the college and earned a degree in physical education, later working as a teacher.
 
But during the construction boom thanks to the flourishing economy and abundance of workforce (soldiers returning home after the war), he got a job in a construction business, and several years later, in 1953, established his own construction company, the Aronow Corporation. It quickly became one of the largest construction companies in the state of New Jersey, and at age of 32 Aronow became a millionaire and moved to Miami, where he began racing boats as a hobby!
 
The hobby soon grew into a business: he founded the Formula Marine boat company, later - Donzi Marine, which became an international success, and even later - Magnum Marine, with which he personally won his first World Championship, driving two 27' Magnums, in 1967.
 
In 1969, after touring with his boat "The Cigarette" around the world, he won his second World Championship, and his third consecutive United States Championship. In total, Aronow's boats won over 350 offshore races, and he was elected to every powerboating Hall of Fame in existence! 
 
Aronow built speedboats for the Shah of Iran, Charles Keating, Malcolm Forbes, as well as for President George H. W. Bush and Lyndon Johnson.
 
After selling all of his successful enterprises, he formed USA Racing Team and built the legendary Blue Thunders, 39-foot catamarans, later used by the United States Customs Service to patrol U.S. waters and run down illegal offshore drug smuggling operations.
 
Aronow's close friend at the time, Vice President George Bush, was a Cigarette owner and even tested the boats prior to government approval.
 
Aronow was married to Shirley Goldin, with whom he raised three children. His daughter Claudia is an artist and  ex-wife of real estate developer Martin Kimmel, and his grandson is menswear designer Adam Kimmel, who is also the husband of actress Leelee Sobieski. Later he married a former Wilhelmina model, Lillian Crawford, 24 years his junior, who brought him two sons.
 
Aronow's creations were his blessing and his doom... The great speed of the boats made them a popular choice among cocaine runners. On February 3, 1987, Aronow was shot dead in his car in Miami, by a killer acting on the orders of Ben Kramer, winner of the 1986 American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship, who had a grave business dispute with him. In the 2000s Kramer, who had already been imprisoned for drug smuggling and trying to escape a jail by helicopter (!), plead no contest on the charges of manslaughter, and received an additional lifetime sentence.
 
Sources: 
How a Kid From Brooklyn Put Go-Fast Boats On The Map" By Capt Ken Kreisler Power & Motor July 2000
 

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