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DALLAS-In the wake of his death, Trammell Crow has been described as a man whose vision, energy and integrity shaped Dallas. Additionally, those who spoke with GlobeSt.com spoke of Crow’s huge impact on the real estate industry nationally and internationally.

“He was truly a visionary and master builder of our industry,” says Bob Sulentic, CEO, Trammell Crow Co. in a statement about Crow’s death. His remarkable life stands as a testament to hard work, visionary leadership, and the unlimited potential of the entrepreneurial spirit. We deeply mourn his passing.”

“Dallas as it is today wouldn’t have happened without Trammell Crow,” says Vance Miller, chairman and CEO of Henry S. Miller Commercial. “Trammell and the Stemmons brothers, they really helped build Dallas to what it is today.”

Born in 1914 in Dallas, Crow graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1932 and later went on to attend the American Institute of Banking and Southern Methodist University. He began his career in accounting, passing the CPA exam and joining Smith, Morrison and Salois, one of Dallas’ major accounting companies.

During World War II, Crow served in the Navy, eventually reaching the rank of commander in charge of cost inspection for the Eighth Naval District in New Orleans. Also during the war he married Margaret Doggett.

After the war, he returned to Dallas to work for his father-in-law’s business until 1948, when he launched a career in real estate that focused on developing industrial buildings. From the start, he did things a little differently, such as designing and building space tailored to his client’s needs, which was considered a new concept.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Crow worked with many partners, including civic leader John Stemmons, in developing industrial buildings. Crow also developed the major “marts” of Dallas, such as the Dallas Trade Mart, the Dallas Design District, the Infomart, Dallas Market Hall Dallas Apparel Mart and the World Trade Center.

Other Dallas projects with the Trammell Crow stamp include the Anatole Hotel, Medical City Dallas, Bryan Tower, Trammell Crow Center, KPMG Centre and Pioneer Plaza. His company has also spearheaded major developments in Brussels, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Miami, Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA.

While Crow developed buildings and worked with other real estate projects; he also built careers for others. Herb Weitzman, chairman and CEO with Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services in Dallas says many who worked with the Trammell Crow organization ultimately went out on their own and became successful in their own right. Anne Raymond, CFO of Dallas-based Crow Holdings and a 25-year veteran of the Trammell Crow organizations agrees.

“Every major real estate company today has an alum of one of the Trammell Crow organizations. The industry is just populated with people who have been associated with in financing, leasing and development,” Raymond comments. “He had such an enormous footprint on the industry.”

It wasn’t just those who had direct contact with him who were impacted. Louis Cushman, vice chairman with Cushman & Wakefield says Crow was known for hiring the best and the brightest personnel that helped add polish to the Crow brand. “When he branched out into other fields and sectors of the real estate industry from industrial, he had the right people in place to help him,” says Cushman, who knew Crow casually, though never did business with him directly. “The people he hired served him very well over the years.”

Local Gaedeke Group’s vice president of leasing Belinda Dabliz never had direct contact with Crow, but has worked with his companies and brokers over the years and knew him by reputation. “As he grew, so did his reputation of doing deals with honor, integrity and class,” Dabliz remarks. “Dallas real estate and Trammell Crow are linked together.”

Those who knew him also expressed their fondness for Crow as a man. Miller, who whose father, the late Henry S. Miller Jr. was good friends with Crow, tells stories of how Crow used to run up the 13 flights of the long-tone Hartford Building in Dallas’ CBD, where Crow used to office. Miller also fondly talks about how his own first lease was with Crow, more than 50 years ago.

Even more importantly, doing business with Crow was always an honor. “He was competitive,” Miller says, “but he would honor his commitments to the fullest. He had absolute integrity in business.”

Weitzman, who was partners with Henry S. Miller Jr. and consequently saw a great deal of Crow, agrees, saying Crow’s energy and integrity helped him when he went out on his own in the late 1980s. “He was a big man, a giant of a guy in the real estate business,” Weitzman remarks. “He had huge capacity and energy, boundless energy.”

And Crow was a man who cared deeply about many things. “Trammell was one of my favorite people in the whole world,” Raymond says. “He deeply cared about his family and friends and associates and set an amazing example of how to live your life. I feel grateful to have been in his orbit.”

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