Former Brown Forman chairman dies

Owsley Brown II, former chairman and CEO of Brown-Forman has died after a brief illness. He was 69 years old.

A statement from Brown Forman said: “During his tenure at Brown-Forman, Owsley Brown II helped carry a family legacy into its fourth generation, a tradition of business excellence that dated back to the company’s founding in 1870. Beginning his career in 1968, he rose to become CEO in 1993 and added the title of chairman two years later. He retired from the CEO role in 2005, as chairman in 2007, and from the board of directors in 2008.”

Peter H. Cressy, Distilled Spirits Council president and CEO, said: “The Distilled Spirits Council and the entire industry mourn the passing of Owsley Brown II. He represented the very best of American business leadership with the strongest emphasis on community and social responsibility. A visionary who was the architect of Brown-Forman’s global strategy, Brown, as chief executive and chairman, led the company’s extraordinary growth in markets around the world. Yet Brown never wavered in his commitment to his community, where his legacy includes his support of the arts, historic preservation and many other charitable activities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and the entire Brown-Forman community.”