The life of Bill Cooper

  • Updated: July 28, 2008 - 8:41 PM

 

1943: Born in Detroit.

1960s: Works as a Detroit police officer at night while attending Wayne State University, where he earns a bachelor's degree in accounting and economics.

1960s to 1980s: Works as an accountant and an executive for banks in Michigan, Ohio and Florida.

1985: Named chief executive of Twin City Federal Savings and Loan in Minneapolis. Cooper cuts costs and cleans house, selling or shutting down unprofitable businesses and firing executives.

1986: Introduces "Totally Free Checking" to appeal to lower-income customers. Competitors Norwest and First Bank follow with their own low-cost options.

1987: Reorganizes TCF into a holding company, TCF Financial Corp.

1988: Opens TCF's first supermarket branch.

1990: Serves as finance chairman of Arne Carlson's successful campaign for Minnesota governor.

1997: Moves TCF's corporate headquarters to Wayzata from downtown Minneapolis.

1997: Elected chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party.

1998: Helps to raise an unprecedented amount of money in support of the Republican nominee for governor, Norm Coleman. Criticizes the Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll after it shows DFLer Hubert Humphrey III with a 20-point lead over Coleman. Jesse Ventura beats Coleman and Humphrey in the race for governor.

1999: Steps down as state GOP chairman; appointed finance chairman.

2002: Supports businessman Brian Sullivan for governor, saying Coleman is "dead, and he doesn't know it." Then-Rep. Tim Pawlenty beats Sullivan for the GOP nomination. Coleman, defying Cooper's prediction, wins U.S. Senate seat.

2005: Secures $35 million naming-rights deal for new University of Minnesota football stadium, which will be called TCF Bank Stadium. Co-founds Cooper State Bank in Columbus, Ohio. Retires as TCF's chief executive but remains chairman of the board.

2006: Leads investor group that acquires the Baja Sol chain of Mexican restaurants.

2007: Puts Wayzata home up for sale and moves to Naples, Fla.

2008: Named CEO of TCF a second time.

Sources: Star Tribune files; American Banker magazine
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