Herb Kelleher first moved to Texas in 1962 with the intention of starting a law firm.
In 1967, Southwest Airlines, then known as Air Southwest Co., was born, with service between Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston beginning in 1971. Now, Southwest Airlines is the largest domestic carrier in the country, and is routinely ranked in the best airlines in the country and one of the best companies to work for, thanks to Kelleher's leadership.
Sadly, Kelleher passed away yesterday at the age of 87. The airline did not specify a reason.
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said, "His stamp on the airline industry cannot be overstated. His vision for making air travel affordable for all revolutionized the industry, and you can still see that transformation taking place today. But his legacy extends far beyond our industry and far beyond the world of entrepreneurship."
Southwest wrote in an obituary, "Herb knew all along that 'The business of business is People' – yesterday, today, and forever. Herb decided long ago that our internal Customers, our Employees, would come first. [He> is survived by his wife, Joan, three of their four children, many cherished grandchildren, and, of course, his pride and joy, the Employees of Southwest Airlines."