John W. Rollins Sr., a Georgia farm boy who went on to found or co-found seven companies taken public on the New York Stock Exchange and served as the lieutenant governor of Delaware in the 1950's, died on April 4 2000 at his office in Fairfax, Del. He was 83. A major contributor to Republican party candidates, Mr. Rollins donated thousands of dollars to campaigns for Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, George W. Bush, Elizabeth Dole, Senator Arlen Specter, Senator Phil Gramm, Representative Michael N. Castle and others. He clearly loved politics. His office was cluttered with photographs of himself with important members of the party, and he had boasted that he had been on speaking terms with every president since John F. Kennedy. He entertained Mr. Nixon in 1971 at his Norman-style mansion in Greenville, outside of Wilmington, and he took delight in telling the story of having had lunch with President Reagan at the White House the day in 1986 when American planes bombed Libya. Mr. Rollins was not above practicing dirty tricks in support of his views. In 1997, the National Archives released Watergate tapes of President Nixon and White House aides discussing Mr. Rollins's plan to trick a black candidate into running for president to split the Democratic vote. The plan was never carried out. Mr. Rollins also ventured into politics himself. After being elected as Delaware's lieutenant governor in 1953 and serving until 1957, he ran for governor in 1960. Later, he called his defeat by Elbert Carvel by about 6,000 votes a blessing. Mr. Rollins became a multimillionaire from such businesses as trucking, extermination, waste hauling and the Dover Downs entertainment complex. The seven businesses he founded or co-founded include Rollins Inc., which owns the Orkin Exterminating Company, and the RLC Corporation, which owns the Rollins Leasing Corporation, said to be the nation's third-largest truck leasing and rental service company. Mr. Rollins also gave money to nonpolitical institutions, including schools, churches, hospitals and museums. John W. Rollins, born in 1916 in Keith, Ga., grew up poor. He graduated from Cohutta High School in Georgia. He worked at various jobs, including a construction worker, ditch digger, government inspector and factory manager before settling in Delaware in 1945. He began his march to become a millionaire when he and a partner opened a Ford dealership in Lewes, Del., in 1945; he then branched out into horse-racing tracks, real estate developments and hazardous waste treatment. His first marriage, to Katharine Jacobs, and second marriage, to Linda S. Kuechler, ended in divorce. Mr. Rollins is survived by his third wife, Michele Metrinko Rollins; six sons, John Jr., Patrick, Ted, Jeffrey, Michael and Marc; three daughters, Catherine Searby, Michele and Monique; and 11 grandchildren. His son James died in 1972.