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Southwest Airlines Co-founder Kelleher Dies at 87

FILE - Herb Kelleher, co-founder, chairman emeritus and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, speaks in his office in Dallas, June 10, 2011. Kelleher died Jan. 3, 2019, at age 87.

Herb Kelleher, who changed the airline industry by helping create and lead Southwest Airlines, a low-fare carrier that made air travel more accessible to the masses, has died. He was 87.

Southwest confirmed that Kelleher died Thursday.

Kelleher was a lawyer in San Antonio when a client came to him in the late 1960s with the idea for a low-fare airline that would fly between big cities in Texas. Today, Southwest carries more passengers within the United States than any other airline.

At a time when many other airlines were run by colorless finance wizards, Kelleher boasted about drinking whiskey and showed a gift for wacky marketing ploys.