As described in Tom Brokaw’s bestseller The Greatest Generation, Glick served in World War II immediately after the Normandy Invasion, moving with the army to free France and destroy Nazi power. As part of U.S. troops in Germany, he was one of the liberators of the Dachau Concentration Camp.
Returning to Indianapolis after the war, Glick developed the GI loan program for a downtown bank, where he realized he wanted to spend the rest of his life building homes for families. He married Marilyn Koffman in 1947, and later that year the couple created Indianapolis Homes, a builder of affordable homes. They built four houses the first year and went on to build hundreds more, customizing them with their own formulas for comfort and decorative details.
Indianapolis Homes evolved into the Gene B. Glick Company, one of the country’s leading apartment developers and operators. The company has built over 30,000 residential units and now manages more than 20,000 units in 11 states. Glick’s emphasis on business integrity, sound management, scrupulous property supervision, and excellence in all aspects of business earned him numerous awards, including induction into the National Housing Hall of Fame and also being selected as a Central Indiana Hall of Fame Laureate. He held an honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from Butler University and was chosen as an Indiana Living Legend by the Indiana Historical Society in 2002. Glick’s story is told in his autobiography Born to Build.
Marilyn Koffman Glick
Marilyn Koffman Glick was active in community work from an early age. At seven years old, she was the youngest volunteer for the Jewish National Fund Flower Day in Detroit, where she spent her early childhood. She was an honor student at Shortridge High School and received a business education. In the early days of her career, she advanced in the Indianapolis Life Insurance Company from a clerk in the policy loan department to the head of the reinsurance department and secretary to the vice president.
She applied her business skills to the two-person company she and her new husband Gene Glick started in 1947. As the business grew and Marilyn Glick became the mother of four girls, she transitioned to full-time parenting and community service. She made substantial personal leadership contributions to the Indiana State Symphony Society and its Young Audiences program, she was president of the Borinstein Home Guild (now Hooverwood Guild) from 1966-1968, and she founded People of Vision in Indiana.
Marilyn Glick began collecting glass art in the 1970s and became one of the nation’s most noted collectors. Part of her collection is on display at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Her artistic interests have been reflected in Glick donations to the Indianapolis Art Center and its Marilyn K. Glick School of Art. Governor Evan Bayh, who appointed her to the Indiana Arts Commission, where she served for eight years, recognized her contribution to the arts community. She and her husband were also honored with the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award.
She wrote of her eventful life in her autobiography Once Upon a Lifetime.