Hunter Harrison, the president and CEO of railroad giant CSX, died Saturday in Florida. He was 73.
CSX confirmed Harrison’s death in a statement, saying it was caused by “unexpectedly severe complications” from a recent illness. His death comes only a couple of days after the company announced he was taking an unplanned medical leave of absence.
“Hunter was a larger-than-life figure who brought his remarkable passion, experience and energy in railroading to CSX,” the company said in a statement.
Harrison was hired by Florida-based CSX in March under shareholder pressure. But recently there had been concerns about his health. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that Harrison often worked from his Wellington home and occasionally required portable oxygen.
Harrison, a member of the Wellington horse set, lived in a 9,200-square-foot mansion at Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, according to property records. He paid $4 million for the property in 2008.
The property now is held in the name of Harrison’s wife, Jeannie Harrison. They have a homestead exemption.
And the Harrison family’s Double H Farm owns a 22-acre property in Wellington.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Harrison was a long-time railroad executive who made his career turning around railroads.
“With the passing of Hunter Harrison, CSX has suffered a major loss. Notwithstanding that loss, the Board is confident that Jim Foote, as acting Chief Executive Officer, and the rest of the CSX team will capitalize on the changes that Hunter has made,” Edward J. Kelly III, Chairman of the CSX Board of Directors, said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.