Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

MAY-JUN 2019

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Page 106 of 131 105 strapped years of World War II. Becoming friends with many of the drivers during her teenage and early-adult years, she entered the world of motor sports and became a highly successful team owner, recognized as a pioneer in a field that to this day remains a fiercely male-focused domain. Relishing the friendships that she established with drivers, team owners, mechanics and officials, Mari maintained those bonds for her entire life, hosting galas, parties and charity events that would help put IMS front and center on the social calendar. "Being at the track was the most important thing to her," continued Krisiloff. "And being the 'hostess with the mostess' during race time was what made her happy. e door was open and there was always someone new welcomed to the party." Ser ving as IMS chairman from 1988 to 2016, Mari became known to race fans worldwide for her exhortation for the gentlemen, and subsequently ladies, to "start your engines." But more than just a figurehead for the greatest spectacle in racing, Mari touched the lives of countless Hoosiers through her tirelessly philanthropic efforts, with special focus on the arts, health care and, in particular, animal care. She also oversaw the period during which the Indianapolis 500 grew to unprecedented worldwide popularity, while the facility also expanded its annual schedule beyond the month of May to include the Brickyard 400, the United States Formula One Grand Prix and the Red Bull MotoGP World Championship. Passing away on November 3, 2018, surrounded by her family, Mari Hulman George built a virtually unassailable foundation for future generations. Survived by three daughters, Nancy George, Josie George and Kathi George-Conforti; a son, Anton H. "Tony" George; a stepdaughter, Carolyn Coffey; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren, her legacy is assured as long as engines burn gasoline. Or ethanol. sl Surrounded by family, Mari Hulman George prepares to give "the order" at the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

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