John Ruan, founder of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, passed away on February 13, 2010. He was born on February 11, 1914 and died at the age of 96. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Ruan, and his sons John Ruan III and Thomas Ruan, all of Des Moines, Iowa.
Ruan began his transportation company in 1932 with only one truck. This small business grew into Ruan Transportation Management Systems, which is now one of the nation’s largest transportation management companies.
“John Ruan was a recognized leader in business, education and community,” says Thomas Donahue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “He was the visionary who formed the World Food Prize. But most importantly, he was a man of courage and conviction, a leader who made others stronger and better because they knew him.”
In 1990 Ruan established a foundation that assumed sponsorship of the World Food Prize, which recognizes individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.
As chairman and CEO of the Ruan family of companies, John Ruan represented a diversified group of businesses with activities including transportation, commercial banking, financial services, international trading, and real estate development. Ruan Companies owns Bankers Trust Company, the largest independent bank in Iowa.