DALLAS — Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons has died at the age of 82. Simmons died Saturday night at Baylor Hospital in Dallas after several days in intensive care.
The cause of his death has not been released.
“Harold Simmons was a true Texas giant, rising from humble beginnings and seizing the limitless opportunity for success we so deeply cherish in our great state,” said Gov. Rick Perry in a statement Sunday. “His legacy of hard work and giving, particularly to his beloved University of Texas, will live on for generations. Anita and I send our thoughts and prayers to the Simmons family.”
Simmons was born in East Texas to a pair of school teachers.
He attended the University of Texas and went on to become the owner of a drugstore near the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. According to a biography posted on the Harold Simmons Foundation website, he continued to expand after purchasing the Williams Drug Co., and soon became a millionaire through his business savvy.
However, many in Dallas County and across the nation know Simmons as a philanthropist, giving to the arts and organizations, including the Dallas Civic Opera, Dallas Zoo, Young America’s Foundation and SMU.
In 1988, he established the Harold Simmons Foundation, which has given millions to nonprofits in North Texas.
Simmons is currently ranked number 40 on Forbes’ wealthiest Americans list.
Statement from T. Boone Pickens:
Harold Simmons was one of my best friends, and it’s never easy to say goodbye to close friends. Harold accomplished so much in his life. He was a passionate person—passionate about his family, his business, philanthropy and politics. We worked together on a lot of different projects. He was one of the most successful and focused men I’ve ever known. We should all leave such a rich legacy behind. My thoughts and prayers go out to Annette and all of Harold’s many family members and friends.