|Alma mater||University of Chicago|
|Occupation||Writer, author, entrepreneur, public speaker|
Gary Hoover (born March 19, 1951) is an American businessperson who founded Bookstop, an American bookstore chain, and The Reference Press, which became Hoover's business information company. He is the entrepreneur-in-residence at the University of Texas at Austin School of Information.
Hoover was born in Lafayette, Indiana, the third of the three children of grocer and later Indiana Glass Company executive Wilbur C. and substitute school teacher Judith. He grew up in Anderson, Indiana, a General Motors factory town, graduating from Madison Heights High School in 1969.
As a child, Hoover displayed an interest in business. He invented business games to play with friends. At the age of 12 in a quest to better understand General Motors he discovered and subscribed to Fortune Magazine.
After graduating from college, Hoover spent two years as a security analyst at Citibank, New York, covering the retailing industry, followed by two years as a buyer for Sanger-Harris, the Dallas division of Federated Department Stores. In 1977 he joined the May Department Stores Company in St. Louis, where he spent five years in tasks ranging from financial analysis and planning to shopping center development and marketing.
In 1982, Hoover moved to Austin, Texas, after selecting it as the first city to launch his idea, Bookstop, the book superstore. Over seven years he and his colleagues developed the first chain of book superstores. In 1989 Bookstop was the United States's fourth-largest bookstore chain, with a total of 22 stores in four U.S. states. Laura Elder of the Houston Business Journal wrote that the chain "pioneered the superstore concept". Hoover himself states that "While the execution of the idea was difficult and complex, the core idea was not. We simply took the retail business model of Toys R Us — giant single-category stores with large product selections and low prices — and applied it to books." Bookstop sold to Barnes & Noble for $41.5 million in 1989.
In 1990, Hoover, Patrick Spain, and the same friends who helped start Bookstop started The Reference Press to publish Hoover's Handbook, an annual guide to big companies and other enterprises. The Reference Press would become Hoover's under the leadership of Hoover's friend Patrick Spain. Hoover stepped down as Chief Executive Officer in December, 1992 to return to retailing, but remained on as Chairman of the Board of Directors. In 1999 Hoover's, Inc. began trading on the NASDAQ until it was purchased in 2003 by Dun & Bradstreet for $117 million.
In 1994, using capital he had raised in a private placement and from small investors in Texas, Hoover opened two TravelFest stores in Austin and one in Houston. The superstore concept lost a major source of revenue when major airlines cut back the commissions they paid to travel agents. The stores were subsequently closed.
In 2005 Hoover founded StoryStores, to build a chain of for-profit museums. The first, RoadStoryUSA, was planned to be a museum and entertainment center dedicated to the American road and all things connected with it. During the 2008 recession the project was aborted.
In 2012 he started Bigwig Games, to produce business and social science strategic simulation games for the iPad and other tablet devices. Hoover is the CEO and chief game designer of Bigwig Games. In August, 2014 the company launched its first game, Restaurant Bigwig, for the iPad.
American Business History Center
In 2019 Hoover started the American Business History Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, devoted to the study, popularization, and celebration of business and entrepreneurial history. The Center's purpose is to create and sponsor outreach programs including social media, speeches, video and audio presentations, tours, and books and other printed and digital articles and publications. 
Hoover is the executive director and a board member of the American Business History Center. Hoover is a fellow of the IC2 Institute and serves on the University of Texas School of Information Advisory Council, the XADS Advisory Board, and the advisory board of the Archbridge Institute. Hoover is a former member of the University of Chicago Alumni Board of Governors.
Hoover lives in Flatonia, Texas with a library of over 57,000 books.
In 2008, Hoover received a distinguished alumni award from the University of Chicago. In 2011, he was named one of the 30 most influential people in Austin, Texas by the Austin Business Journal. In 2013, he was inducted into the Anderson Indiana Schools Hall of Fame.
In 2009, Hoover became the first entrepreneur-in-residence at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2012, he became the entrepreneur-in-residence at the University of Texas at Austin School of Information. He teaches classes through his independent Hoover Academy, and speaks worldwide. Hoover has mentored hundreds of young entrepreneurs.
In 2001, the University of Chicago opened the Hoover House dormitory, named in honor of Hoover for the gifts of stock in his companies made to the University over the last 20 years.
In 2001, Hoover's book Hoover’s Vision: Original Thinking for Business Success was published by Texere, New York. An updated version of the book re-titled The Art of Enterprise is available on dpdcart in pdf form.
In 2016, Hoover published Gary Hoover's Retail Handbook 2016: Principles, Trends, and Giants of Retailing - a book of the history of retail innovations, mindsets of merchants, and business models of retailing.
In July 2017, Hoover's book The Lifetime Learner's Guide to Reading and Learning was published by Assiduity Publishing House, Philadelphia.
Hoover maintains a blog, Hooversworld, and a YouTube channel - hooverbits.
- "Hoover Joins McCombs School as Entrepreneur-in-Residence" (Archive). University of Texas at Austin. September 9, 2009. Retrieved on April 7, 2014.
- "ACS Hall of Fame Booklet 2012" (PDF). Anderson Community Schools. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- "Lessons from Detroit: Gary Hoover on the Auto industry". YouTube. April 25, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- "Alumni Award Winners 2008". University of Chicago Magazine. August 7, 2008. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- Frost, Wendy (August 11, 2009). "UTSA economists discuss Milton Friedman's legacy at special event". University of Texas at San Antonio Communications News. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- "MiniTends 2013 Conference Keynote Speaker – Gary Hoover". Minitrends. Technology Futures, Inc. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Miller, Laura. Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption. University of Chicago Press, September 15, 2008. ISBN 0226525929, 9780226525921. p. 50.
- Elder, Laura (November 16, 1997). "Barnes & Noble ends self-competition by closing Bookstop store". Houston Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Hoover, Gary. "Two key skills for entrepreneurial thinkers, leaders to have." Austin Business Journal. September 14, 2012. p. 2. Retrieved on April 7, 2014.
- Calnan, Christopher. "Gary Hoover likens biz creation to craftsmanship." Austin Business Journal. August 13, 2013. Retrieved on April 7, 2014. "Hoover knows of what he speaks. He founded book superstore Bookstop Inc., which was acquired by Barnes & Noble for $41.5 million,[...]"
- "Hoover's, Inc. S-1". SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. July 20, 1999. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Hane, Paula J. (December 16, 2002). "D&B to Acquire Hoover's". Information Today, Inc. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Solomon, Stephen D. (February 1, 2002). "My Next Business Few are better than Gary Hoover at identifying big opportunities. Which one of these ideas will he pursue now?". Fortune Magazine Small Business. Fortune. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Hacker, Tom (September 14, 2005). "Entrepreneur Hoover describes next venture: Museums". Bizwest. Bizwest Media, LLC. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Egan, John (July 18, 2014). "Austin entrepreneur Gary Hoover is launching his 5th startup: Business-oriented iPad games". Austin Culturemap. CultureMap LLC. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Calnan, Christopher (August 18, 2014). "Austin entrepreneur releases first of 100 planned business-based games". Austin Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Smith, Leif (June 2, 2019). "Explorers Foundation Invests in Gary Hoover and the American Business History Center". Explorers Foundation. Explorers Foundation. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- "Hoover Joins McCombs School as Entrepreneur-in-Residence". UT News. The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- "About the American Business History Center". Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- "ISCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCIL". Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- "XADS Advisory Board Members". Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- "Board of Advisors – Archbridge Institute". Archbridge Institute.
- "the University of Chicago Alumni Board of Governors". Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- "Flatonia Resident Has 57,000 Books". The Fayette County Record. February 15, 2018.
- "Austin's 30 most influential". Austin Business Journal. American City Business Journals. December 22, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Lorek, Laura (August 14, 2013). "Gary Hoover's Entrepreneurial Journey". Silicon Hills News. Silicon Hills News. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- "History of The Hoover House". Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Hoover, Gary (2001). Hoover's vision : building lasting enterprises. London: Texere. ISBN 1587990598.
- Hoover, Gary. "The Art of Enterprise by Gary Hoover January 2010". DPDcart.
- Hoover, Gary (June 29, 2016). "Gary Hoover's Retail Handbook 2016: Principles, Trends, and Giants of Retailing". Gary Hoover.
- Hoover, Gary (2017). The Lifetime Learner's Guide to Reading and Learning. Philadelphia: Assiduity Publishing House. ISBN 0999114948.
- "Hooversworld - Entrepreneurial Thinking". Archived from the original on January 1, 2014.