Harold Simmons, Top GOP Donor, Dead At 82

The Texas billionaire, Harold Simmons, who  had contributed tens of millions of dollars to the Republican as well as conservative causes, died at eighty two years of age. After suffering from failing health for the last couple of months, he died this Saturday at the Baylor University Medical Centre in Dallas.

Harold Simmons was worth more than nine billion dollars. He was famous for starting his business and fortune from almost nothing and was known for wearing 3000 dollar worth sport coats but under garments from Walmart to reflect his skimpy upbringing. Simmons was born in 1931 and had spent the early years of his life without indoor plumbing or electricity. He was able to make it to the University of Texas and became a bank examiner. Starting with the investment in a pharmacy, he soon built a Contran holding company with a collection of cash cow companies. Being a billionaire Simmons had his share of problems. In 1996, his daughters filed a lawsuit against him for controlling the family wealth which nearly cost him the fortune. He was also fined 20000 dollars for violating the federal campaign contribution limits.

He will be missed by friends like T. Boone Pickens who stated today ‘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.’

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