Gayle Cook

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Gayle Cook
Gayle Karch
EducationIndiana University
Net worth$5.8 billion
Spouse(s)William Cook (died 2011)
ChildrenCarl Cook

Gayle Cook is an American business executive. She was the co-founder (with her husband) of the medical equipment manufacturer Cook Group in 1963.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Gayle Karch Cook graduated from Indiana University in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts.[3] She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.[3]


In 1963, she co-founded the Cook Group, a medical equipment manufacturer, with her husband.[4][5] As of 2013, she still served on the company's Board of Directors.[2]

According to Forbes, she had a net worth of US$5,800,000,000 in 2014,[4] an increase relative to US$5,200,000,000 in 2013 which placed her at #85 on the Forbes 400 for the year.[2]

Historical preservation[edit]

She has restored many historic buildings.[3] For example, she has restored the Colonel William Jones House in Gentryville (listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Cedar Farm in Laconia, the Graham Hotel and the James Cochran House in Bloomington (the latter being on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Monroe County, Indiana), the French Lick Resort in French Lick Springs, and the West Baden Springs Hotel in West Baden Springs.[3][5]

She has co-written two books about historical preservation.[3] She is also a member of the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana and a Landmark member of The Nature Conservancy.[3] Furthermore, she co-founded the Monroe County Historical Society Museum.[3]


She has made charitable contributions to her alma mater, Indiana University, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Indiana University Foundation.[3] She received the Gertrude Rich Award in 1983 an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 1993, both from Indiana University.[3]

Personal life[edit]

She was married to William Cook, who died in 2011.[6] They had a son, Carl Cook.[4]


  • A Guide to Southern Indiana (with William Cook, Owen Litho Service, 1972).
  • Monroe County in Focus: Portrait of an Indiana County (with Diana Hawes and Will Counts, Discovery Press, 1990).


  1. ^ Kathleen McLaughlin, Gayle Cook tops list of richest Hoosiers, Indiana Business Journal, September 22, 2011
  2. ^ a b c Staff (October 7, 2013). "85. Gayle Cook". The Forbes 400. Forbes (paper) |format= requires |url= (help): 161.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Honoree: Search Awards: University Honors & Awards: Indiana University". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Gayle Cook". Forbes. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b Preservationist Gayle Cook to discuss ‘The Mystique of Domes', Indiana State University Newsroom, October 17, 2011
  6. ^ Schuyler Volasco, Forbes billionaires list: Meet the nine richest self-made women, Christian Science Monitor, March 5, 2013