December 30th, 2013
08:29 AM ET
7 years ago

Billionaire GOP donor dies at 82

(CNN) – Harold Simmons, a Texas billionaire, philanthropist, and major GOP donor, died Saturday. He was 82.

His death was confirmed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and state Attorney General Greg Abbott, in separate statements.

Simmons spent more than $25 million on Republican candidates in the 2012 election cycle and $79,000 on Republican causes in 2013, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

He told the Wall Street Journal last year his goal was to see the removal of President Barack Obama from office.

The head of Dallas-based Contran Corp., Simmons got his start by buying drugstores in Dallas, then later selling them for millions, according to his foundation's website. That put him on a path of playing a central role in the development of leveraged buyouts and corporate takeovers.

His foundation, created in 1988 and bears his own name, supports nonprofit programs in the Dallas area.

"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," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said 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."

Another big GOP donor from Texas, Bob Perry, also passed away this year.

Read more about Simmons:

Fortune: The whistling billionaire

CNNMoney: Texas billionaire's cruelest year

Filed under: Texas
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Bad Ryden

    He spent all that time and money dedicated to a goal he failed at. He has passed away and Brack Obama is still President. How sad.

    December 30, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Bad sign, for GOP thugs for coming elections...

    December 30, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  3. Sean

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    December 30, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. rs

    Kind of sad for anyone that political party operatives of that caliber announces their death. Surely the man had a greater history and importance than just being a "donor" for a party motivated by irrational hatred for the President.

    December 30, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  5. smith

    Hmmm, not sure why this is on the ticker. I hope that no one will cheer this man`s passing because of his political stance. Will see.

    December 30, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  6. Borderless

    Before it begins, any Democrats celebrating the death of this man can just go ahead and turn in their liberal cards. We don't celebrate deaths.

    December 30, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. Tampa Tim

    It has to be hard for a billionaire to not achieve his goal of 2012. So much money, and he still did not get his way. For that I am thankful.

    December 30, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Sorry for his families loss. I'm just waiting for the day for David and Charles Koch to kick the bucket.

    December 30, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |