John “Jack” Gratzianna

Elected:       January 15, 1995

Inducted:    May 18, 1995

Family:        Born May 6, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois.  Jack married Gail Wagner in 1963 and in the following years they were blessed with a large family of 7 children (4 boys and 3 girls).  Although only 3 of the children still reside with Jack and Gail at their home in Oak Brook, Illinois the entire family remains in the Chicago metro area, still actively involved in the company’s daily activities.

History:      Jack started his business back in 1963 to help make ends meet and to support his auto racing hobby.  Thirty-two later, that same company now has over 40 people and operates a 20 truck fleet including some of the finest towing and recovery equipment in the Midwest.  The main facility in Northlake, also houses a 15 bay truck and trailer service facility, an in-house body and frame shop, as well as a complete parts division.  Early in 1993, O’Hare Truck Service purchased a smaller towing company to expand its market area into the next county, in Addison, Illinois.  As a tower in the windy city since the early 60’s, Jack saw a need to bring all of the Illinois towers together to form one voice that the political system would listen to.  With the assistance of TRAA, Jack played a key role in bringing the entire State of Illinois towing industry together to form one of the strongest and most productive towing associations around (Professional Towing and Recovery Operators of Illinois).  When the PTROI was established back in 1980, Jack was the natural choice to lead the young association in its fledging years.  For the following 8 years that Jack was the PTROI President, the state association grew in both size and strength.  As the Illinois towing industry began to thrive, Jack set his sights on not only assisting the towers in Illinois, but helping every towing company in the United States.  In 1981, he was elected a District Director for the TRAA and in the years following, he moved swiftly through the ranks of the TRAA to his current position of the President.  In the political system as well as the towing industry, Jack’s philosophy was quite simple, “Don’t just talk about it, go do it.”  Jack has been a driving force in improving our industry, with a prime example being the first National Driver Certification Program that was launched several months ago at the Florida Tow Show.  The honor of being inducted into the Towing Hall of Fame has been long deserved for this pioneer in the towing industry.  Every tower in the State of Illinois and the country, for that matter, should thank him and congratulate him for a job well done!

DECEASED – September 28, 2001



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