Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert 'improving by the hour' after stroke
Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner comments on company founder Dan Gilbert, who is hospitalized and recovering from a stroke. Daniel Mears, The Detroit News
Detroit — Quicken Loans founder and Detroit billionaire booster Dan Gilbert is awake and "improving by the hour," Jay Farner, the company's CEO, said Tuesday, two days after Gilbert suffered a stroke.
Farner was speaking at a media event ahead of next month's PGA Tour event, the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club. It's an event Gilbert has been instrumental in bringing to the city, after years of lobbying.
Farner said Gilbert started feeling poorly Saturday and decided to go to the hospital, Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital.
"It's a good thing he did," Farner said.
While at the hospital, Gilbert had a stroke, Quicken Loans officials said. Because medical assistance was immediately available, he was able to undergo a procedure "to alleviate the symptoms," said Farner, adding, "he's resting and recovering."
Farner said he visited with Gilbert, 57, at the hospital Monday, and said he assured Gilbert the day-to-day operations of his legion of companies would carry on seamlessly.
Gilbert was scheduled to attend the Mackinac Policy Conference and speak Wednesday, but was replaced on the speaking list by Quicken Loans Vice Chairman Bill Emerson. It's too early to say if Gilbert will be well enough to participate in the Rocket Mortgage Classic events, during the week of June 25-30.
"He has a great passion for this event, and in particular what it means for the City of Detroit," Farner said. "I know that he'll be excited to watch it all take place in the next few weeks.
"Right now, we're just taking things day by day. I've expressed to the entire team at Quicken Loans that our mission is to just give him the time and space he needs to recover, and recuperate, and do those sorts of things."
Gilbert's Quicken Loans sponsored a PGA Tour event in suburban Washington, D.C., starting five years ago — with the understanding to the PGA Tour that he'd eventually like to move the tournament to Detroit, when the schedule allowed.
The tournament is the first for the PGA in the city limits of Detroit, and the first PGA Tour event in Michigan since 2009.
The field consists of some of the top golfers in the world, including Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson. All continue to speculate on whether Tiger Woods, whose foundation was the primary charitable beneficiary from the tournament in D.C., will play in Detroit. He is close to Gilbert, by most accounts, given Gilbert's five-year sponsorship of The National.
"The outpouring of support, notes, messages, texts, it's been from all over the region, all over the city, really all over the country and the world," Farner said of the well-wishes for Gilbert, who also owns the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.
"Dan and his family really appreciate (it). We have a great team at the family of companies, and I know we'll do him proud as he's resting."