Media reports: Owsley Frazier, one of Louisville's wealthiest people, dies at 77
A spokesperson for the Frazier History Museum confirmed Frazier’s death to WFPL radio.
Frazier, who used a wheelchair, had chronic health problems related to bone spurs on his spinal column and other ailments. He had been the president of U of L’s board of trustees until resigning earlier this year.
Frazier, 77, was the great-grandson of George Garvin Brown, and Frazier had been a top executive at the Louisville-based alcoholic beverage company.
A number of financial publications, including Forbes, ranked Frazier among the United State’s billionaires, and he was a noted philanthropist who donated millions to Bellarmine University, U of L and Jewish Hospital.
He also used his wealth to fund the Frazier Arms Museum, now the Frazier History Museum, at Ninth and Main streets downtown.
In late 2011, Frazier made a $25 milion gift to U of L to improve research and athletics, the largest single gift in the university’s history. It was also the largest gift to any Kentucky university.
That gift brought to about $40 million the total given by Frazier and his daughters to U of L.
Frazier’s first cousin, Owsley Brown II, died last September.
During 2011 into 2012, we reported that Owsley Brown Frazier sold a significant percentage of his Brown-Forman shares while buying none.
Last January, Frazier sold 61,864 shares of Class B stock, a transaction totaling $4.9 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission Form 4 filing.
Brown sold at an average price of $79.07 per share, according to the filing – near what was then the historic high of $82 per share.
At the closing bell today, Brown-Forman closed at $62 per share after a 3-for-2 split last month. (Adjusting for the split, the share price equals $93 per share at last year’s value. Sort of.)
After that January transaction, Frazier’s stake was 371,916 shares of Brown-Forman B stock, a 14-percent decrease. Which is a significant percentage drop.
According to SEC data, Frazier had sold a total of 397,745 shares of BF shares worth a total of $30.4 million during the last 12 months, but purchased zero shares.
Today, that roughly 370,000 shares would be 580,000 shares, worth about $34 million.