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Owsley Brown Frazier, Longtime Brown-Forman Executive And Noted Philanthropist, Dies At 77

August 17, 2012

Owsley Brown Frazier, former vice chairman of Brown-Forman and one of Kentucky’s best-known philanthropists, died yesterday after a long illness. He was 77.

Frazier served as an executive at Brown-Forman for 45 years and as a member of the board of directors for more than 40 years. He was elected vice chairman in 1983 and continued to serve in that role until his retirement from management in 2000. He remained a member of Brown-Forman’s board of directors until 2006. “Owsley Brown Frazier was a vital member of the Brown family’s fourth generation whose leadership at the company helped transform Brown-Forman into the global enterprise it is today,” said Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga. “All of us at Brown-Forman join Owsley’s family and friends in mourning his death.”

Frazier is best known, however, for his philanthropic endeavors. He is said to have raised more than $500 million over the past 40 years, primarily for educational institutions in Kentucky. Most recently, Frazier donated $25 million to the University of Louisville in 2011, the largest single contribution in its history.

Frazier is survived by his daughters Laura Frazier and Catherine Joy and 8 grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at 11am on Wednesday, August 22, at St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, located at 6710 Wolf Pen Branch Road in Harrods Creek, Kentucky. Frazier’s family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Louisville’s Frazier International History Museum or the charity of your choice.

 

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