Carl Lindner Jr, who first transformed his family’s dairy business into a large chain before branching out to form financial services company American Financial Group, died on 17 October aged 92.
Lindner’s career began in 1940 when he joined his parents’ cash-and-carry dairy market business at the age of 21. He was instrumental in expanding the milk delivery company into a chain of convenience stores.
The family branched out in 1959, founding American Financial Group and entered the property and insurance sector three years later. Linder was the company chief executive until 2004, after which he turned over the management to two of his sons and became chairman of the family business.
Worth an estimated $1.7 billion (€1.23 billion) in 2010 according to Forbes, Lindner also briefly owned major league baseball team the Cincinnati Reds, before selling his majority stake in 2005.
Linder was well known for his donations to educational causes and for establishing the Craig and Frances Lindner Center of Hope, which focused on mental health care. He often gave out white cards with sayings such as: “I like to do my giving while I’m living so I’m knowing where it’s going.”
Lindner, who according to a company statement died from “causes incident to age”, is survived by his wife and three sons.
Son Carl Lindner III is co-chief executive of American Financial Group along with brother Craig Linder. Third son Keith left the business in 2004 to pursue other interests, according to the company. The group had 2010 revenues of $4.49 billion, up from $4.32 billion the year before.