In Memorium: Entrepreneurs Who Died in 2009

AP
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Kevork Hovnanian, Co-founder of Hovnanian Enterprises

In 1959, after fleeing Iraq with his family due to the political upheaval there, Hovnanian founded a construction company with his three brothers. The New Jersey-based business became well known for its sprawling suburban developments and for its Spartan approach to construction. Hovanian believed in skimping on amenities to offer first-time home buyers a better price; in that way, it grew into the sixth-largest home builder in the country. Though his son succeeded him as company president in 1988, Hovnanian remained on the board until his death in September.