A keen business acumen. A bold leader. A big heart. These are the hallmarks of Ed Fitzpatrick’s distinguished career in the auto industry.
Ed was born in Elyria, Ohio in 1942. His mother, Mary, was a domestic worker, and his father, Bennie, was a janitor at a local Dodge dealership before rising to Parts Manager, responsible for five automotive franchises.
After graduating from Ohio University, Ed taught sixth grade before moving to Southern California and working as a management trainee for the Dodge division of Chrysler Corporation. After eleven years at Chrysler in various management positions, including National Minority Dealer Development Manager, Ed moved to Toyota Motor Sales as a Dealer Placement Administrator. A promotion to Market Representation Manager for the Los Angeles Region soon followed in 1980. In 1982, Ed was hired by Mitsubishi Motors Sales as their National Dealer Development Manager.
After more than seventeen years of helping dealers, Ed bought into his own Chrysler Plymouth dealership in Renton, WA, taking complete ownership shortly thereafter. Over the next several years, he added a Dodge dealership in Renton, followed by a Lexus dealership in 1997 and a BMW dealership in 2000, both in Modesto, California.
In 2000, he sold his Washington dealerships and relocated to California with his wife Bertha to build Coliseum Lexus of Oakland, which opened in 2002. He added a Kia dealership in Modesto, California in 2018.
Throughout his career, Ed’s commitment to helping minorities succeed has remained steadfast. He has served as Chairman of the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers, President of the Chrysler Minority Dealer Association, and Founding President of the Toyota/Lexus Minority Dealers Owners Association. In Seattle, he served on various advertising committees with Chrysler Corporation and as President of the Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association. In California, he was on the Board of Directors and then became Chairman of the California New Car Dealers Association. Ed is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.
Ed has received numerous honors, including the Vision Award (National Association of Minority Auto Dealers), Dealer of the Year (California New Car Dealers Association), Quality Dealer of the Year (Time Magazine), and Small Business of the Year Award (Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce.) For his lifetime of contributions to the American auto industry, Ed has been honored with the David F. Mungenast Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award (American International Automobile Dealers), the Black Enterprise Dealer of the Year Award (Black Enterprise Magazine), and the Lifetime Achievement Award (National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers). Ed has also been inducted into the HistoryMakers in the BusinessMakers category for his contribution to the automobile industry, with his oral history archived in the Library of Congress.
Giving back to his community is one way that Ed shares the blessings in his life. He is proud to support numerous charitable organizations including the East Oakland Youth Development Center, the Shelter Cove Community Church, California State University – Stanislaus, the First Tee of Oakland and Modesto, the Modesto Black Men & Women’s Association, the Modesto Salvation Army, and the Junior Golf Association of Northern California.
Benjamin Edward (Ed) Fitzpatrick, Jr. transitioned peacefully on May 29, 2020.