Famous Bipolar People


He is the founder of the American Sunroof Company. Heinz was born on January 19, 1942 in Kleinhöbing, Germany. He is a famous philanthropist, donating millions of dollars to the less privileged in society. He built his reputation as an automotive manufacturer. His creativity applied to his sunroofs won the admiration of many. He is also remembered for winning the German-American man of the year award. Heinz was a community man and was involved in community activities. He was also a known friend of President Bush and his family, raising funds for them when needed. 

Heinz’s career began when he worked as an apprentice in tool and die making, automotive trim and body building coach at the age of 13. After his training at Berufs-Obershule, Hienz went on to the Nuremberg’s OHM Polytechnic Engineering School. He worked for prominent German firms during his time of study at the University. He worked for Faunwerke, a supplier of truck and military equipment, Siemens, an electronics company and Deutz, a manufacturer of diesel engines.


As a student on exchange program in the United States, Heinz installed sunroofs for some people. During that time, sunroofs were not well known in the United States. He founded the American Sunroof Company in Los Angeles fifteen months later. All he could afford at the time was a few tools, a workbench, which he made from an old car door and a sewing machine, which he bought from a junkyard. His company grew to become the producer of high quality sunroof designs. The company also produces body systems and other car systems for the big vehicle manufacturers.


Heinz also founded Heritage Network Incorporated. This is a group of companies in Michigan that are into the transport, communications and hospitality industries. It also included a weekly chain of newspapers and a real estate development company. The Heritage Network also included a cattle beef business. To join the two businesses together, Heinz created Pretcher Holdings, which owned the two companies.

Heinz was believed to have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mental disorder which he kept to himself. He suffered bouts of depression most of his adult life, but kept everything to himself. He was undertaking treatment at the Depression Center of the University of Michigan. He was mostly buried in his work, driven by the disorder. His body was found on July 6, 2001, hanging in a guest house at their home. Heinz also had problems with his weight. His many attempts to lose weight all proved futile.


Though the exact cause of his depression is unknown, it is speculated that it could be from the running of his business and his inability to lose excess weight. The bipolar disorder that he suffered could have compounded matters that he was forced to take the extreme step.


The Harvard Business Club named Hienz the Entrepreneur of the Year. He was also awarded the Automotive Industry Leader of the Year by the Automotive Hall of Fame. He served on Detroit Renaissance Board, ThyssenKrupp’s and Comerica Bank Board and many other corporate and community boards.