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Ralph Bennett Ryder; Co-Founded Truck Firm

Ralph Bennett Ryder, 90, one of the founders of the Ryder Trucking Co. In 1933, Ryder’s younger brother James bought a Model “A” Ford truck for $35. Ralph Ryder bought the second truck, and the brothers hauled meat to docks on the beach in Florida, and debris and cement from the beach. Harry Ryder, the third brother, repaired the trucks when they broke down. The Ryders had 15 trucks in service by the time Miami beverage distributor Champagne Velvet Beer contacted them in 1938 about leasing five of the vehicles. That agreement launched a service that now rents or leases about 170,000 vehicles in North America and Britain. Ralph Ryder was the company’s vice president and was in charge of construction and operations for the business, now called Ryder System Inc. He designed many of the company’s buildings. On Thursday at a Coral Gables, Fla., hospital.


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