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.