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Missouri philanthropist John Hammons dies

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Prominent hotel developer and Missouri philanthropist John Q. Hammons has died. He was 94.

His company says Hammons passed away Sunday at the Springfield nursing home where he'd lived after stepping away from the company he led well into his 80s.

After his first business went bust in the 1940s, Hammons built subdivisions in southwest Missouri before purchasing 10 Holiday Inn franchises with a partner in 1958.

He went on to build 200 hotels nationwide, avoiding big cities in favor of college towns and state capitals. His expansive real estate portfolio included golf courses and convention centers.

Hammons also donated millions to hospitals, colleges and public television. His name graces so many buildings and streets in Springfield that comedian Bob Hope once joked the city should be named "Hammonsville."

 

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