LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bernard Trager, the longtime chairman and founder of bank holding company Republic Bancorp Inc., has died. He was 83.
Trager died Friday afternoon in Louisville after suffering from an extended illness, said Michael Sadofsky, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of marketing.
"The entire Republic Bank family is saddened by the loss of our founder, Bernard Trager," Sadofsky said in an emailed statement. "He represented the best of the bank and brought out the best in all its associates. He was very generous and always available to those of us at the bank and in our communities. He will be missed by all."
He began in the banking and finance industry in 1952. He became co-founder and chief executive officer of Union Trust in 1958. When Union Trust and its seven subsidiaries in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio became part of Commercial Credit of Baltimore in 1977, he continued to serve as president, chairman and chief executive officer of Union Trust.
According to the website of Republic Bank, the company started in 1977 after Trager acquired a more than 80-year-old bank in Shelby County, Ky., and Republic Bank and Trust Co. was founded in 1982. The bank's parent company, Republic Bancorp Inc., started in 1998 and Trager was its chairman until his death.
The holding company operates branches in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee and Ohio.
In June, he and his wife, Jean, were recognized by the University of Louisville with the naming of a renovated plaza as Trager Plaza. The couple donated a sculpture to the plaza and donated money for the plaza's renovation.
Officials with Herman Meyer & Son Funeral Home said Trager's funeral will be held Sunday at The Temple in Louisville.
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