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Hovnanian founder dies at 86

Kevork Hovnanian, founder and chairman of the US family-controlled Hovnanian Enterprises, has died at age 86.

Kevork (pictured) was chairman of the homebuilding-company's board and served as president until 1988 and CEO until 1997, when he was succeeded by his son Ara Hovnanian. Larry Sorsby, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said: "Mr Hovnanian was a visionary who brought tremendous leadership, energy and passion to his job. He made an indelible mark on this company and the community, where he felt a responsibility and a deep commitment to share his good fortunes."

He was also known for his philanthropic activities, which included funding the building of a children's hospital that bears his name and other donations to medical institutions.

Kevork founded the business in 1959 in Red Bank, New Jersey, which grew into one of the largest homebuilders in the US with 2008 revenues of $3.3 billion. The family owns 46% of business that operates across 18 US states.

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