Manuel Moroun

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Manuel Moroun
Born (1927-06-05) June 5, 1927 (age 88)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Matty Moroun
Ethnicity Lebanese
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Occupation Chairman and CEO of CenTra Inc.
Known for Owner of the Ambassador Bridge and Michigan Central Station
Net worth US $ 2.0 billion (Sept 2015)[1]
Spouse(s) Nora[2]
Children Matthew Moroun
Bill W. Moroun[2]

Manuel Moroun (born June 5, 1927) is an American businessman in the Detroit, Michigan area and the owner of CenTra, Inc., the holding company which controls the Ambassador Bridge, the international crossing connecting Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario.[3][4] This is the only private ownership of a border crossing between the US and Canada. Moroun bought the bridge from the Bower Family in 1979.

The bridge is now estimated to be worth between $1.5 and 3 billion.[5] CenTra, Inc., is also the controlling body of Central Transport International, an LTL trucking carrier.[6] Moroun also has a controlling stake in Universal Truckload Services Inc., which is a holding company for several over-the-road truck lines and logistics companies (Universal Am-Can Ltd., Mason Dixon Lines, Economy Transport, Cavalry Logistics, Louisiana Transportation, Inc. etc.) Moroun is also the owner of the derelict Michigan Central Station for railroad passenger traffic.[7] A recent Forbes article listed him as the 321st richest American.[8]

Early life[edit]

Manuel Moroun is of Lebanese descent.[9] He grew up on Detroit's east side with three sisters. His father ran two gas stations in Detroit, where Matty worked before and during high school. Moroun attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, graduating in 1945.[citation needed]

In 1946, his father bought Central Cartage Company, which would later become Central Transport, and Moroun started working with him. During college, Matty regularly commuted between the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and Detroit to help run the family business.[10]

Bridge ownership[edit]

Moroun bought the Ambassador Bridge in 1979 when shares came on the market. It was originally privately built by railroad interests.

In 2009, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) sued Moroun and the Detroit International Bridge Company for failing to comply with the terms of a contract to construct ramps connecting the Ambassador Bridge to nearby expressways as part of the Gateway Project. Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards ruled in February 2010 that Moroun and the chief deputy of the Detroit International Bridge Co., Dan Stamper, were in violation of the contract and ordered them to become in compliance. On 12 January 2012, Judge Edwards found both Moroun and Stamper to be in non-compliance with his previous order and ordered both men to jail, denying a motion to stay the order until it could be appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals.[11][12] After spending a night in jail, both men were released by the appellate court while they heard the case.[13]

The US and Canadian governments have agreed to build the Gordie Howe International Bridge, a bridge between Detroit and Windsor to be located downriver. On 25 March 2010, Moroun announced a suit to try to block construction of the new bridge, as it would compete with his own proposal to build a second span of the Ambassador Bridge, which he would own.[14] Critics suggest that Moroun's opposition is fueled by the prospect of lost profits from duty-free gasoline sales at the bridge. These are exempt from about 60 cents per gallon in taxes although the pump price to consumers is only a few cents lower.[15]

Ed Arditti, of the online news site Windsor Square suggested the appointment of Mark R. McQueen to the new Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority was intended to anger the Moroun family. [16] McQueen had been the executive assistant to Hugh Segal, Brian Mulroney's chief of staff, when the Mulroney administration had a dispute with Moroun.


  1. ^ Forbes The World's Billionaires: Manuel Moroun September 2015
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ from Crain's Detroit Business POSTED: 8:00 p.m., Apr. 19, 2009 LAST MODIFIED: 8:19 p.m., Apr. 19, 2009
  4. ^ Jack Lessenberry, from Metro Times
  5. ^ John Ivison and Dave Battagello, "Ottawa mulls buying Windsor-Detroit Ambassador Bridge", National Post (Ottawa)
  6. ^ "Central Transport". 
  7. ^ "Universal Truckload Services". 
  8. ^ Forbes. 17 September 2008  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Ammonnews". 
  10. ^ Voyles, S. "The Man Behind the Bridge - Matty Moroun". Corp!. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Mich. billionaire, 84, jailed over bridge dispute", USA Today, 12 January 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2012
  12. ^ "Billionaire Bridge Owner's Greed Lands Him In Jail" Forbes, 12 January 2012, Retrieved 12 July 2012
  13. ^ "Billionaire Detroit bridge owner released from jail", Reuters, 14 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012
  14. ^ "Ambassador Bridge boss sues Canada, U.S.", CBC News, 26 March 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2011
  15. ^ "Tax-free fuel sales are bonanza for Ambassador Bridge owners." Detroit Free Press 25 April 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011
  16. ^ Ed Arditti. "The Real Reason Behind The DRIC Boards Announcement". Windsor Square (Windsor). Someone has quite a sense of humour within the Canadian Bureaucracy to make him Chair and a possible competitor with the Ambassador Bridge Company.