Robert Lee “Bob” Bell, one of Maryland’s largest car dealers and a familiar presence from local television advertisements, has died. He was 78.
According to an announcement from the Gary L. Kaufman Funeral Home of Elkridge, Bell died Sunday of leukemia, surrounded by family.
As the head of Bob Bell Automotive, he owned seven dealerships in the Baltimore area — selling Fords, Chevrolets, Nissans, Hyundais and Kias.
The Ellicott City resident was best known for his appearances in TV ads for his dealerships, in which he often dressed in a black or pink tuxedo, wore sunglasses and played a piano.
Bell was born and raised in Alexandria, Va., and served with the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War. He opened his first dealership in 1962.