For more than forty years, Tony March generously donated most of his fortune and countless hours to help those in need, but no one ever knew—until now.
To the public, he was the founder of one of the most successful minority-owned businesses in the country, a champion for minority business owners, and a respected community leader entrusted to manage $1 billion in state funds. Privately, however, Tony indulged his true passion: getting his hands dirty serving the homeless community.
In shocking detail, Paying It Backward presents Tony’s incredible journey from poverty, abuse, racism, and depression in a Daytona Beach ghetto to the highest level of business success and a life filled with purpose. More importantly, Tony shows how anyone—no matter who they are or where they come from—can improve their lives, conquer any hardship, and develop a heart for serving others.
When you reach the top of the mountain, Tony says, you can either sit at the peak or reach back down and help others climb. In Paying It Backward, Tony reflects on his struggles on the way up—and the joy he found by reaching back down.
Tony March is a philanthropist and entrepreneur who has a diverse professional history and expertise in business start-ups. Recognized by TIME magazine as one of the top 10 automotive dealers in the country, Tony built an automotive empire of more than 22 car dealerships at its zenith. Tony was raised in Daytona Beach, Florida, on the “other side of the tracks.” He is a survivor of abuse, homelessness, childhood poverty, and childhood hunger, but at an early age, Tony developed survival instincts and a spirit of determination. Through this determination, Tony was able to rise up, graduate high school, attend Howard University’s School of Engineering, and secure an engineering position with General Motors. From there, through extreme hard work and continued determination, Tony went on to build one of the most impressive car dealership conglomerates in the United States. Though Tony has never forgotten the pains of his childhood, he allowed that pain to fuel his passion for serving the underserved communities in which he’s lived, especially the children stuck in poverty and the homeless community. Not only has Tony donated his money, he has donated countless hours of physical labor. He has always made it a point to pay it backward. At the behest of friends and colleagues, Tony agreed to tell his story and hopes it will challenge others to Pay It Backward to make a positive impact in their communities.
Marvin Karlins (Ph.D.,Princeton University) has authored 26 books and 200-plus articles in academic, professional, and popular journals. He is a member of the Author's Guild and the International Federation of Journalists. He is also Senior Professor of Management at the University of South Florida.