Quad/Graphics Founder Drowns in Lake
CHENEQUA, WI—Harry V. Quadracci, 66, who grew Pewaukee, WI-based Quad/Graphics from a startup company, funded by taking out a second mortgage on his home, into the largest privately-held commercial printer in the United States, died July 29.
Mr. Quadracci's body was found at approximately 3 p.m. that day in about four and a half feet of water in Pine Lake near his home here, according to Chenequa Police. His family contacted Chenequa police around 12:30 p.m. and reported Mr. Quadracci missing.
The cause of death is under investigation, according to Robert Douglas, chief of police. The Waukesha County Medical Examiners office will conduct an autopsy.
It was the second time in less than a month that tragedy had struck the Quad/Graphics organization. A 10-story warehouse caught fire and collapsed July 12, taking the life of an employee from a contracted cleaning service.
Quad/Graphics issued a statement through the Chenequa Police Department that read: "As you can imagine, this is a very sad day for the Quadracci family. Our first priority is to respect their privacy and assist them in any way we can. Mr. Quadracci will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him, including employees, the many customers with whom he had close relationships, the entire printing industry, the Wisconsin business community and the many communities where the company operates."
Mr. Quadracci opened Quad/Graphics in 1971 with just 11 employees, a leased press and a loaner binder in a 20,000-square foot facility in Pewaukee. The company soon catapulted into being the largest privately-held commercial printer in the United States, with 10,000 employees at 35 facilities generating $1.8 billion in annual sales.
Along the way, Mr. Quadracci earned a sterling reputation not only as a stout businessman who could calculate moves and ideas ahead of the curve, but also as a principled man whose ideals and ethics left a lasting impression on the culture of the company and its employees.