KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. --- Anthony A. Martino, founder, chairman and CEO of Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting, died on Sunday, Jan. 27. He was 75 years old.

Anthony Martino began his career in 1959 with a repair shop specializing in automatic transmission repair. He named his company Aamco Transmissions, an acronym for Anthony A. Martino & Co., to top the Yellow Pages telephone listings. He began franchising in 1962. Martino sold his interest in Aamco in 1967 after guiding it to success.

In 1972, Martino opened a pilot Maaco Auto Painting & Bodyworks center, positioning the brand between low-cost auto painters of lesser quality and expensive dealership work.

Today, nearly 500 Maaco facilities repair and paint more than 700,000 vehicles a year, the vast majority requiring collision or cosmetic body repairs. About one-fourth of the vehicles are for national and local fleets. To date, the King of Prussia, Pa.-based company has painted more than 17 million vehicles.

Martino's business interests and acumen extended beyond automobiles into areas such as early childhood education, according to David Lapps. Lapps, a 30-year veteran of Maaco, will assume the position of president immediately.

"Tony’s ability to help franchisees succeed in business was not limited to the automotive field," said Lapps. "He also founded the Goddard School for Early Childhood Development in 1988, and established it as a leader in quality childcare before selling it in 2003."

Martino is survived by his wife, Karen; sons Mark, Jerry and Christopher; and daughters Lisa, Kim and Stacey.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials