Childhood polio may have thrown up roadblocks for Lennar chairman Bob Strudler, but it never stopped him from achieving success and inspiring others to greater heights. Strudler died Nov. 7 in Houston at age 64. The cause was complications of an infection.

Industry leaders and colleagues described him as a brilliant builder and a man of extraordinary integrity and generosity who encouraged others to overcome challenges.

“From a business standpoint, he was very, very good at understanding what motivates people,” says John Johnson, who worked with Strudler for 12 years at U.S. Home and now is CEO of David Weekley Homes. “He had a lot of tough times, and he always handled it with such grace and maturity. Bob had a big impact on my life.”

One of Strudler's defining characteristics was his concern for others, says Isaac Heimbinder, who worked with Strudler at U.S. Home for nearly 30 years. That concern extended to the entire industry, as evidenced by his work to create the High Production Home Builders Council of the NAHB.

“He thought you measure people by the people they help,” Heimbinder says. “A lot of people were helped from the sharing of business practices.”

His impact was recognized with countless honors, including induction into the National Housing Hall of Fame. He also was deeply involved in humanitarian work.

“He set the bar high on how you conduct yourself, and he always cleared it,” says home builder John Wieland, one of the judges who selected Strudler for the prestigious Hearthstone BUILDER Lifetime Public Service Award. “He was just a first-class human being.”

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, and three sons, Seth, Keith, and Craig.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Houston, TX.