Hal Prewitt

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Hal Prewitt
Hal Prewitt on Podium 2015.jpg
2015 Podium at 24 hours of Silverstone
Born Harold Dean Prewitt, Jr.
(1954-10-01) October 1, 1954 (age 60)
Hutchinson, Kansas
Residence Miami Beach, Fl and Park City, Ut
Occupation Race car driver, Professional Photographer, Investor, Businessman and Farmer
Known for Inventor, Computer Technology, Engineering, Race car driver, Politician, Businessman and Fisherman
Notable work Artist, Photographer and Computer Technology
Home town Daytona Beach, Florida
Television Numerous auto races and fishing shows. IBM's educational TV on Micro Channel Architecture
Title Commissioner, Town of Manalapan, Florida
Term 2001
Political party Republican
Board member of (1997-2003) Billfish Foundation, (mid to late 90's) Florida Atlantic University Executive Advisory Board, Architectural and Code Enforcement Town of Manalapan, Florida and Palm Beach Countywide Beaches & Shores Council
Spouse(s) Corinne Loria, Wife
Florine Andrews, Ex
Children Calvin, Tim, Alex Brody
Relatives Paul, Brian and Keith (brothers)
Awards Won 2006 National Auto Sport Association National Championship, Chivas Regal Award for Entrepreneurship 1986, Business Leader of the Year Palm Beach County, Atlantic Ocean Angler of the Year 1992, Bahamas Billfish Championship 1988, IGFA most Tagged & Released Sailfish (1990-1992) and White Marlin (1992)
Website www.prewitt.net www.halprewitt.com

Harold D. Prewitt, Jr (Hal) (born October 1, 1954 in Hutchinson, Kansas) is an artist, photographer, race car driver, businessperson, inventor of personal computer products and early pioneer in the personal computer revolution. He resides in South Beach (Miami Beach, Florida) and Park City, Utah.[1]

Prewitt competes in professional and occasionally amateur motorsport road races and has driven in more than 180 endurance racing or sprint races worldwide. He is a regular competitor in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and at international FIA races including 24 Hours of Daytona, 24 Hours Nürburgring, Dubai 24 Hour, 24 Hours of Barcelona and Silverstone Britcar 24-Hour.

In the 1970s and 1980s he was one of the early creators[2] of personal computer products, developing popular software and hardware while helping build a new industry. He provided consulting services to IBM and is credited[3] with inventing hard disk drives and a local area network for their first portable computer the IBM 5100, and their first desktop computer the IBM 5120.

Skilled[3] in computer programming and engineering, Prewitt founded and managed a number of technology firms. The largest and best known was Core International, a developer of disk array, computer data storage and backup products. Prewitt was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until 1993 when the company was sold[4] to Sony.

Prewitt is the Managing Member of Prewitt Enterprises, a Florida-based agricultural and investment business.

Early life[edit]

Youth[edit]

Prewitt grew up in the Daytona Beach, Florida area and lived there from 1963 to 1976. There he had his first exposure to auto racing; volunteering at Daytona International Speedway. He built his first computer in 1967 at 13. It performed simple math, which he disliked so much in school, and operated his phonograph.[3]

1970 Cadet Captain Prewitt

He joined the Civil Air Patrol as a cadet and earned his way to the second highest rank (Cadet Lt. Colonel), learning leadership, search and rescue, about the military and the value of providing community service. Prewitt learned how to fly a plane, soloed at 16 and shortly thereafter earned his Private Pilots License at the youngest age allowed.[2][3]

As a teenager, Prewitt learned sailing, fishing, boating and scuba diving and developed skills in mechanics, engineering, electronics, navigation and construction. After school and in summers, he worked at jobs building homes and in a restaurant washing dishes and cooking. In high school, he rented out the family houseboat.[2][3] He was interested in painting and photography – he produced and sold a number of images.[citation needed]

After graduating high school, Prewitt continued building boats, managing his business and began to focus on computer programming. Between 1972-1975 he learned various programming languages using an IBM 1130. In the early 1970s, Prewitt dreamed of designing, building and selling a generation of small business computers with a price tag much less than the going rate of $50,000. Convinced that there was a market, Prewitt unsuccessfully sought venture capital to get his plans off the ground.[2] In 1975, he built an Altair 8800. That same year, at the age of 21, Prewitt obtained his first business applications customer when he sold, designed and wrote computer programs for the IBM 5100 and System/32 as part of the business he had started at age 16. He joined the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and participated in autocross events.[3]

Family[edit]

Prewitt was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, the eldest son of Harold Dean Prewitt, Sr (20 November 1931 – 1 March 1972)[5] and Helen Mary Savage (b.11 May 1927). He has brothers Paul, Brian and Keith. Prewitt's father joined the US Air Force underage at 13 years old using his older brother's ID and then switched to the US Navy at 17 serving in World War II and Korea. His father left the military after 18 years (1945–1962), did odd jobs and then worked as a mailman for the US Postal Service until his death. Prewitt's father was honored as a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. His mother was a Registered nurse and lives in the Daytona Beach, Florida area.[3]

Prewitt married his first wife Florine Andrews in August 1980 and divorced after 23 years in early 2004. They have two sons, Calvin and Tim. He married Corinne Brody (Loria) in October 2007. She has a son, Alex.[1]

Education[edit]

Prewitt attended All Souls Catholic School (1960–1963) in Sanford, Florida until 3rd grade while his father served in the military. He attended Port Orange Elementary School (1963–1965) from 3rd to 5th grade when his family moved to Allandale, Florida.[6] In 1966, his family moved to Ormond Beach, Florida where he attended Osceola Elementary (1965–1966), Seabreeze Jr. High (1966–1969) and then graduated from Seabreeze High School (1969–1972).[6] At 16, he attended Burnside-Ott Aviation in Miami, Florida where he soloed. After high school, Prewitt attended Daytona Beach Community College (1972–1976) studying business and computer science but left without earning a degree. He transferred to Florida Atlantic University (1976–1978), Boca Raton, Florida where he continued his studies in business and computer science. Prewitt dropped out of college to focus on his business.[3]

Careers[edit]

Prewitt's working career began at age 13. He started in construction helping build homes for an Ormond Beach, Florida builder. He also worked busing tables and washing dishes before a promotion to cook at a couple of local restaurants. At 16, Prewitt started his first business. While attending community college, he built boats, worked as a painter, an accountant and for the yard crew at the Howard Boat Works marina. Prewitt's final jobs where he was employed by someone else were as a lab assistant helping students in his college and as a computer programmer for a company providing business applications on mainframes and mini computers.[2][3]

Businesses[edit]

Ranger Systems[edit]

Quick Facts
  • Start: 1970 in bedroom
  • End: 1975 dissolved
  • Ownership: 100%
  • Business: multi division - marine, auto & marketing
  • Known For: Rent a Houseboat
    & early PC development
Ranger Systems' 1972 ad for Rent A Houseboat

Prewitt started his first business when he was 16 and a junior in High School. "Ranger Systems", had four divisions: Ranger Manufacturing, Business World, Rent a Houseboat and Ranger Automotive Engineering.[2][3]

He used the manufacturing part of the business to build electronics, computers and fiberglass boats from 13' fishing runabouts to a 40' houseboat. Business World did marketing, photography, printing and advertising. Prewitt wrote brochures, shot pictures, placed ads and ran a printing press. The biggest and most profitable division was Rent a Houseboat. Prewitt took the family boat and turned it into a rental business. He sometimes used a small boat to travel to school and quickly reach the houseboat. Prewitt did everything from writing contracts to maintenance. Prewitt frequently missed classes to unstop a toilet or revive the boat engine. The automotive division focused on repairs.[2][3]

Prewitt operated Ranger Systems from 1970 to 1975 until his focus switched to computer programming and the personal computer industry.[2][3]

International Computer[edit]

Quick facts
  • Start: 1975 in bedroom
  • End: 1979 merged into Core International
  • Ownership: 100%
  • Business: custom programming
    and computer sales
  • Known For: storage development
    for early PCs

In 1975, Prewitt created International Computer to continue building, selling, installing and programming computers. This was the period when he started developing storage devices which ultimately became his most successful products.

Prewitt in 1979 with his 1941 Taylorcraft

He had customers that were located from mid to south Florida in manufacturing, hotel, service, legal, medical, construction and agricultural industries. Prewitt flew to their offices by initially renting aircraft and then by using his own.[2][3]

Prewitt started Southeast Computer Consultants with a partner in late 1977.[citation needed]

Core International (Core)[edit]

Main article: Core International
Quick Facts
  • Start: 1979 in workshop
  • End: 1993 Sold to Sony
  • Ownership: 100%
  • Business: computer equipment
    maintenance & supplies
  • Known For: storage, backup
    & software for PCs
  • Sales: +100 Million $
  • Profit: +10 Million $

3 time INC 500 Fastest Growing Company

In late 1979, Prewitt as sole owner created Core International from the assets of International Computer and Southeast Computer Consultants. Initially Core was created as a for-profit association of owners and operators of small IBM computers. It sold mail-order computer supplies and developed software for users of the IBM 5100, 5110 and IBM 5120 systems.

Prewitt built his first computer storage product for the IBM 5100 series because the machines did not have hard disk drives.[3] Prewitt contracted with Control Data Corporation to manufacture the key component. Even though it was a niche product, the product became popular almost overnight when IBM discontinued its 5100 series and their customers turned to Core for parts and supplies. Within two years, Prewitt had sold $2.5 million worth of disk drives.

Core's 1979-1985 Delray Beach, FL premises, two small homes converted to offices where Prewitt also lived.

Core's second hardware and major software product also catered to the IBM orphans, a device and software that allowed IBM 5110/20 users to transfer data and programs from old bulky computers into new personal computers, which in 1981 were revolutionizing the computer industry. Core's software was called PC51 and allowed any DOS personal computer to use, unmodified, any BASIC program written for the IBM 5110/20 series computer. IBM consequently approached Core to become an IBM dealer. Customers could buy an integrated IBM PC, which completely replaced IBM's 5100 computers, or optionally attach their 5100 to Core's local area network, connecting all machines. These were revolutionary products and Core was the only source.[2][3]

The company expanded internationally to include offices in Europe and Asia. In 1986, Inc Magazine selected Core as 21st in their annual list (Inc. 500) of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.. By 1990, Core was well known as an industry leading developer of disk array, computer data storage and backup products.[3] COREtest became the industry standard[7] and most often quoted benchmark used to test, evaluate and compare performance of hard disk drives.[2][3]

Many[3] of Prewitt's products were the first of their kind, had no direct competition and were widely regarded for their superior[8] performance and reliability. He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Core until 1993 when the company was sold[4] to Sony.[2][3]

Prewitt Enterprises[edit]

Quick Facts
  • Start: 2004
  • Ownership: 100%
  • Business: agricultural, racing
    & investments

Prewitt is the Managing Member of Prewitt Enterprises, a Florida-based agricultural and investment business with offices in Boca Raton and Miami, Florida, and in Park City, Utah. The agricultural part of the business grows oranges and at its peak produced more than 1.5 million half gallon cartons of orange juice per year with much of it used in Tropicana's Pure Premium. The investment division is active in private and public businesses in both the U.S. and internationally.

Prewitt Management[edit]

Quick Facts
  • Start: 2012
  • Ownership: 100%
  • Business: artist, professional photographer
    & gallery

Prewitt is the Managing Member of Prewitt Management, a Florida-based fine-art photography business with offices in Boca Raton, Florida; Miami, Florida and Park City, Utah. Prewitt's photography is often of nature and panoramic landscapes.

Racing - Notable wins and finishes[edit]

2010 Win at 24 hours of Dubai. Drivers Hal Prewitt, Cor Euser, Toto Lassally and Jim Briody

Prewitt first became active in racing while growing up in Daytona Beach, Florida in the 1970s and driving in SCCA events. He became serious in 2004 after attending Skip Barber Racing School.[6] Today, Prewitt is a professional level driver in selected International and North American Endurance road race events supporting his sponsors and EveryLapCounts.com, a global fund raising effort for children's charitable causes. He enjoys Endurance rather than Sprint racing.

As of June 2015, Prewitt qualified for a career total 194 races (140 Sprint and 54 Endurance) and drove in 29 endurance (24 hours or longer) events at 33 tracks. He has won 73 firsts, 30 seconds and 10 third places for 41% wins in 180 starts and for 63% podium finishes. He has a low 3.61% did not finish (DNF) incident rate.[9][dead link]

For the last 5 years he has mostly driven for Cor Euser Racing in a BMW 120d, BMW M3 and Lotus Evora.

In 2006 and 2007, Prewitt won numerous 1st place and class wins while racing in Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR), Rolex Endurance Series and the Historic GT Series. He won the 2006 National Auto Sport Association (NASA) National Championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course while driving the Porsche 911 GT3 RS that won 2nd place in class for the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans.

From 2004 to 2006, he captured numerous lap records in SCCA, PBOC Motorsports Club and National Auto Sport Association (NASA) classes and was overall winner in the PBOC 2005 and 2006 Race Series season.

Fishing[edit]

1988 BBC win Hal Prewitt (center) with crew (left to right) Paul Ivey, Todd Simlic and Rick O'Neill

Prewitt is a sport fisherman.[10] Over the years, he has caught and released more than one thousand Billfish with many of them tagged for science research. Most of these were captured "stand up", not using a fishing chair and on light tackle. Prewitt was selected as Atlantic Ocean Angler of the Year 1992, recognized and awarded by International Game Fish Association (IGFA) as the angler who Tagged & Released the most Sailfish in 1990, 1991 and 1992 and White Marlin in 1992. In 1989, Power and Motoryacht Magazine[11] named him one of America's Top Ten Anglers of 1988.

Megabyte in the USVI Open. Angler Hal Prewitt catching a Blue Marlin on "stand up" tackle.

In 1988, he won the Bahamas Billfish Championship (BBC).[citation needed] This annual award recognizes the overall champion of six tournaments located in the Bahamas held on Bimini, Cat Cay, Walker's Cay, Berry Islands and the Abacos.

Politics and public service[edit]

Beginning in the mid-1990s, Prewitt served as a Commissioner on the Architectural and Code Enforcement Boards[citation needed] prior to his 2001 unopposed election to the Town Commission of Manalapan, Florida[citation needed] where he held office until the town was reapportioned in 2002.[12] Prewitt served on the Florida Atlantic University Executive Advisory Board and Palm Beach Countywide Beaches & Shores Council.[citation needed]

Personal[edit]

Prewitt is dyslexic, thus has difficulty reading and spelling.[1][13]

In March 2009, Prewitt bought[14] a house in Park City, Utah that had belonged to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney[15] since 1999.[16]

Prewitt's wife, Corinne, is a graduate of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and was an Assistant County Manager for the $7 billion Miami-Dade County government, overseeing strategic planning, human resources, and technology initiatives.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Hal Prewitt". Hal Prewitt Racing. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Boyhood dream becomes a reality for entrepreneur" (PDF). South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Hal Prewitt; a computer whiz kid challenges the big boys". Florida Trend – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). August 1, 1987. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Barton, Christopher (24 June 1993). "Japanese company buys out Core International". Boca Raton News. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Grave of Harld D. Prewitt, Sr.". Find a Grave. Retrieved 7 Feb 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Kelly, Godwin (29 Jan 2006). "Microchip to motor for Prewitt". Daytona Beach News Journal. Retrieved 7 Feb 2012. 
  7. ^ A User's View. InfoWorld. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  8. ^ Hard Disk Drive Survives Sherman Tank Test. InfoWorld. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Hal Prewitt Bio". Grand-Am Road Racing. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "Prewitt Possesses The Winning Edge". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 8 Feb 2012. 
  11. ^ "America's Top Ten Anglers 1988". Power and Motoryacht. Retrieved 8 Feb 2012. 
  12. ^ "Search summary on Hal Prewitt & Manalapan". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 8 Feb 2012. 
  13. ^ "Hal Prewitt". Classmates.com. 9 Feb 2012. Retrieved 9 Feb 2012. 
  14. ^ "Romney Ski Estate Sold". KSL-TV. Retrieved 8 Feb 2012. 
  15. ^ "Mitt Romney Estate". Luxist.com. Retrieved 8 Feb 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Prewitt Estate". Park City Magazine. Retrieved 8 Feb 2012. 

External links[edit]