Founder and Chairman of Southwest Airlines passes away at 87
On January 3, Southwest Airlines Founder and Chairman Emeritus Herbert D. Kelleher passed away at the age of 87.
A statement from the airline remembered Kelleher as an innovator who helped make air travel accessible to all.
Gary Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Southwest, commented on his vast contributions to their business and the industry at large. "Herb was a lifelong mentor and friend, and one of the greatest joys of my life has been working alongside Herb for over 30 years," Kelly said. "His stamp on the airline industry and all those he touched has been profound. His vision for making air travel affordable for all revolutionized the industry, and you can still see that transformation taking place today.
"But his legacy extends far beyond our industry and far beyond the world of entrepreneurship. He inspired people; he motivated people; he challenged people — and he kept us laughing all the way. He was an exceptionally gifted man with an enormous heart and love for people — all people. We have been beyond blessed to have him as a part of our lives."
Southwest has set up a special page on The Southwest Airlines Community to honor its Founder.