Businessman and philanthropist Owsley Brown Frazier dies

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Businessman and philanthropist Owsley Brown Frazier has died, according to officials at the Frazier History Museum.  They tell WDRB News that he passed away Thursday afternoon at a local hospital.  He was 77.

"Owsley Brown Frazier had a profound impact on Louisville," Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement. "His generosity touched many people over several generations."

The Frazier Historical Arms Museum opened in May of 2004.  Eventually the facility changed its name to the Frazier History Museum as it widened its focus.  The museum's website says over 700,000 people have visited the facility.

The Frazier's permanent collection includes artifacts from the Royal Armouries, which is the United Kingdom's national museum of arms and armor.  The Frazier is the only Royal Armouries partner outside of Great Britain.

On December 19th of last year, the University of Louisville announced Frazier was giving the university $25 million, the largest donation ever made to U of L by an individual.

Over the years the Frazier family has shown plenty of support for the University of Louisville. The family's footprint is all over the university, having contributed to buildings and sports stadiums, making $43 million the amount of money Frazier and his daughters have given to the university.

U of L President James Ramsey said in a statement, "Neither the University of Louisville nor the citizens of our community had a better friend than Owsley.  His service and incredible generosity to the university's academic, research and athletic programs is well documented and leaves a lasting legacy to all of us, young and old."

"He was such a remarkable man," says Phil Lynch of Brown-Forman Corporation, "He was the philanthropic leader of this community. Over the last 30-40 years, he raised more than $500 million for philanthropic causes, mostly for educational purposes."

"There are so many things that create an enhanced quality of life here in this community that you can directly connect to Owsley Frazier. I've known him for years and years. I worked with him for many years as mayor, and he's just a kind, sweet man, a caring individual and one that we'll miss for a long, long time. He was a true citizen of this community in the best way you can define that term," says Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson.

Owsley Brown Frazier was the great-grandson of the founder of Brown-Forman, George Garvin Brown.

Visitation for Frazier will be Tuesday in the Brown and Williamson Club at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.  His funeral is set for Wednesday.

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