Richard 'Dick' Duchossois, Chicago horseracing icon and longtime Arlington Park owner, dies at 100

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Longtime Arlington Park International Racecourse owner Richard "Dick" Duchossois has died at the age of 100.

According to a statement from his family, Duchossois "passed away peacefully" at his home in Barrington Hills on Friday.

He rebuilt the racecourse after a fire destroyed it in 1985, making it into a world class facility with the famed "Arlington Million."

The Chicago native and philanthropist was also a decorated war hero. His son told ABC7 his combat experience helped shape his success.

"Having been so close to death during World War II, he didn't think that any mountain was too high, he'd sorta been there," Craig Duchossois said. "And so, he developed a sense of grit and can-do attitude that is exemplary."

Statement of Arlington International Racecourse President Tony Petrillo on passing of Richard L. Duchossois:

The loss of our wonderful friend and leader Mr. D leaves the Arlington Family with a heavy heart, yet we are warmed by the memories he gave us and the communities he touched through his long life.

We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Judi and his surviving children Craig, Dayle and Kim and their large extended family.

Mr. D accomplished many good things in life. He worked hard and always followed the path of honesty and integrity which is a gift that he passed on to all of us around him. We are most grateful to him for sharing this gift with us.

Mr. D loved being around people, being a part of the community, picking people up by their boot-straps and watching them succeed. He was the consummate teacher, he always preached "Don't Expect What You Didn't Inspect", to take the responsibility you place on others, upon yourself as well.
We are forever grateful for his loyalty and enduring friendship.

HAPPY TRAILS to you, until we meet again.

Statement from Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association on the Passing of Dick Duchossois

On behalf of Illinois thoroughbred owners and trainers, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dick Duchossois.

Mr. D served our nation with distinction and thereafter brought his enduring tenacity and exceptional work ethic to the helm of Arlington Park - a track he worked to build into a world-class destination for thoroughbred horse racing.

As we mourn his loss, we are reminded of his immense contributions to thoroughbred racing in North America, most especially here in Illinois. His imprint on the sport and industry was vast and will not be forgotten.
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