Founder of Southwest Airlines dies at 87

Founder of Southwest Airlines dies at 87
Founder of Southwest Airlines, pictured in a mural from the company's headquarters, has died (Source: Joe Terrell/KLTV/Joe Terrell)

(KLTV) - Southwest Airlines announced the death of the company’s founder on Thursday.

Herb Kelleher, 87, died on January 3, the company announced on its social media outlets.

A statement from the company follows:

We are deeply saddened to share that Southwest Airlines Founder and Chairman Emeritus Herbert D. Kelleher passed away today at the age of 87.

Herb was a pioneer, a maverick, and an innovator. His vision revolutionized commercial aviation and democratized the skies. Herb's passion, zest for life, and insatiable investment in relationships made lasting and immeasurable impressions on all who knew him and will forever be the bedrock and esprit de corps of Southwest Airlines.

The entire Southwest Family extends our deepest sympathies to Herb's wife, Joan, and his entire family.

A special page on The Southwest Airlines Community honors our Founder and Friend.

Kelleher, along with businessman Rollin King and banker John Parker, created the concept that became SWA in a San Antonio restaurant in 1971, according to an online bio.

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