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Detroit Billionaire Manuel 'Matty' Moroun has died

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Billionaire businessman Manuel “Matty” Moroun has died. He was 93.

Moroun is best known as the longtime owner of the Ambassador Bridge. He bought the bridge in 1979, and fought long and hard to keep it the only bridge spanning between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Moroun was involved in numerous legal battles over the bridge.

In January, 2012, a Wayne County judge sent Moroun to jail for failing to comply with an order to finish a project that will connect the bridge to nearby expressways. The Michigan Court of Appeals freed him after Maroun spent a night in the Wayne County jail. 

Moroun’s stranglehold on travel at the busiest crossing on the U.S.-Canadian border is ending with plans for the new Gordie Howe International Bridge, which is scheduled to be completed in 2024. 

The late billionaire was also accused of contributing to “urban blight” in the city, for buying property like the former Michigan Central Station and doing little to maintain it.

Manuel Moroun was born in Detroit in 1927, the same year construction began on the Ambassador Bridge.

Moroun was worth an estimated $1.7 billion.