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Southwest Airlines co-founder dies at 83

SWA 737
SWA 737

(Reuters) - Rollin King, co-founder of the affordable carrier Southwest Airlines, has died at age 83, the airline said on Saturday.

King passed away from undisclosed causes on Thursday, Southwest Airlines said in a statement.

"I am indeed profoundly saddened to learn of Rollin's passing," said Herb Kelleher, who founded the airline with King. "The People of Southwest Airlines grieve with Rollin's family; mourn his absence and thank him for his vision," Kelleher said.

Cleveland-born King was a licensed pilot with an MBA from Harvard University, the Texas State Historical Association said on its website. He moved to San Antonio and acquired a small air-taxi service, Wild Goose Flying, in the early 1960s, the association said.

King soon partnered with Kelleher, then working as an attorney, to develop the business, and the two reincorporated Wild Goose Flying as Southwest in 1967, the association said.

It has been said that King outlined the entire Southwest Airlines business plan on a cocktail napkin.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; editing by Gunna Dickson)