Southwest Airlines Founder Herb Kelleher Passes Away

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Some very sad news for those part of the Southwest Airlines family, as their founder Herb Kelleher passed away today at age 87. He founded Southwest back in 1967 as an airline offering intra-Texas airline service, however it’s grown to one of the largest carries in the U.S. with over 4,000 daily departures.

Southwest Airlines shares the following:

It is with heavy hearts that we share with you that our Founder, Inspiration, Chairman Emeritus, and Friend, Herb Kelleher has passed away this morning at the age of 87. Herb is survived by his wife, Joan; three of their four children; many cherished grandchildren, and, of course, his pride and joy, YOU, the Employees of Southwest Airlines.

As a member of the Southwest Family, you’ve no doubt heard the lore. Born Herbert David Kelleher on March 12, 1931, and raised in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, Herb received his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan and his law degree from New York University. He practiced law on the East Coast before relocating to Texas with plans to start his own law firm. In 1967, Herb and client Rollin King incorporated Air Southwest, Inc., with the idea of offering low-fare, intra-Texas airline service.

After a name change and many legal battles valiantly fought and won by Herb, Southwest Airlines took to the skies on June 18, 1971—a date that would change each of our lives forever. Anyone in the world who has set foot on an airplane in the past 50+ years has been touched by the life of Herb Kelleher.

Our hearts go out to his family and the entire Southwest Airlines family for his loss.

Hat Tip: PM&M reader Robert

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