Real-estate executive Steven L. Good was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday in his Jaguar in a forest preserve outside Chicago, said the Kane County Sheriff's Department.

Good, 52 years old, was chief executive of Sheldon Good & Co., one of the nation's largest real-estate auction firms. His father founded the company in 1965.

In a prepared statement Monday, Sheldon Good President Alan Kravets called it "a testimony to Steve's leadership that Sheldon Good & Co. remains well positioned for the future [and] poised for significant growth."

As chairman of the Realtors Commercial Alliance Committee, Good said last month in an industry outlook news release that market conditions were "very challenging."

According to the company's Web site, Sheldon Good "has sold more than 45,000 U.S. and international properties in more than 100 different classes and produced more than $10 billion in sales."

Good wrote a book called "Churches, Jails and Gold Mines...Mega-Deals from a Real Estate Maverick." In it, Mr. Good tells how he purportedly turned his auction firm into the real-estate equivalent of Sotheby's or Christie's.

"That book is a must-read for anyone in real-estate auctions," said Chris Longly, spokesman for the National Auctioneers Association.

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