LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bill Street, a longtime Brown-Forman executive who retired in 2003, died after a multi-year battle with cancer, the Louisville-based liquor giant said Thursday. He was 79.

“Bill Street will be remembered fondly by us all as an enormously successful Brown-Forman president and board member, a luminary in the global spirits industry, and a prominent Louisville civic leader,” Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga said in a company statement. “Most notably, however, he will be remembered as a gracious and good man who enriched the lives of so many people at our company and in our community."

Street, the son of former Brown-Forman president Daniel Street, worked at Brown-Forman his entire 47-year career, starting as a sales trainee in 1956 and retiring as the company's president in 2003, according to the company.

A member of the Kentucky Distillers Association's Hall of Fame, Street also held a number of civic leadership posts, including chairman of Greater Louisville Inc.; of the Governor's Scholars Program; and of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.

Bill Stone, the owner of manufacturer Louisville Plate Glass, said on Twitter that Street was "a great man" and "the gold standard for leaders of important public companies."


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