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Humana Co-Founder And Louisville Philanthropist David Jones Sr. Has Died

Betty and David Jones - 2
Courtesy Humana
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Humana co-founder David Jones Sr. has died at the age of 88.

Jones founded the company in 1961 as a nursing home company. He was CEO of Humana for 37 years and served as board chairman for 44 years, before retiring in 2005.

Besides his business success, Jones left a significant civic legacy.

“This is a sad day for me personally, and for the Humana team," said Humana CEO Bruce Broussard in a statement. "In his extraordinary lifetime, David changed the lives of so many people. As co-founder of Humana, he planted a seed that today has grown into a company that serves millions of people in their healthcare needs, helping them live healthier and happier lives. In addition to his impact at Humana, he inspired and made a significant difference in the lives of many others, in and outside the Louisville community, and around the world. For those of us who had the privilege of knowing him, we’ve been made better by his presence in our lives. I don’t think we could ever measure the positive impact he has made, especially in his hometown of Louisville.”

In a statement, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called Jones "a giant of our city."

"From his historic entrepreneurial success to his extensive philanthropy, along with his beloved wife, Betty, he leaves so many well-known city-shaping accomplishments," Fischer wrote. "But it was the countless people he touched with individual acts of kindness that the public will never know about that meant the most to him. Through all of that, his unwavering love for his family was an inspiration for all to behold. David Jones’ commitment to making the world a better place will forever leave a profound impact on our city."

Jones was also instrumental in forming the Parklands of Floyds Fork in eastern Jefferson County, both as a donor and a fundraiser. He spent 16 years working to rehabilitate Romania's healthcare system, at the behest of President George H.W. Bush. And C.E. and S Foundation, his family foundation, has approved more than $93 million in grant awards (including initial funding to Louisville Public Media to help establish the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting).

Jones' wife, Betty, died last month at the age of 86.

This story has been updated.