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Federated Investors founder John F. Donahue dies at 92

John F. Donahue, founder of Federated Investors (FII) and chairman emeritus, died in his home in Naples, Fla., Thursday. He was 92.

“My father was a remarkable business leader and a man of tremendous faith who dedicated his life to building Federated and his community,” said J. Christopher Donahue, president and CEO of Federated, in a news release. “He was also a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who made faith the center of our family. While he will be deeply missed by all who knew him, his entrepreneurial spirit will continue to encourage and inspire us all.”

Mr. Donahue graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1946 and was commissioned into the Army Air Corps — later the Air Force — where he piloted single-engine planes.

His interest in the stock market and finance led him to sell mutual funds on commission after leaving the Air Force in 1950. Five years later, he co-founded Federated Investors in 1955 with two high school friends, Richard B. Fisher and the late Thomas J. Donnelly as outside counsel.

In the 1960s, they raised $100 million in assets in tax-free exchange funds at Federated. The company now has $361.7 billion in assets under management.

Mr. Donahue spearheaded an effort among his family members to endow the Donahue Family Chair in Investment Management in Duquesne University's John H. Donahue Graduate School of Business. He was involved in several charitable efforts, including creating the Golden Apple Awards for the best teachers in Pittsburgh's Catholic schools and founding the Extra Mile Education Foundation to provide Catholic education for inner-city children.

Mr. Donahue is survived by his wife of 70 years, Rhodora Jacob Donahue, and their 13 children, 84 grandchildren, 109 great-grandchildren, as well as his sisters, Katherine Kirby and Margaretta Garman.

Friends will be received at St. Ann Catholic Church in Naples, Fla., May 18-19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., confirmed Federated spokeswoman Elizabeth Krah in an email.

A mass of Christian burial will take place in Naples at 11 a.m. on May 20 at St. Ann Catholic Church. In Pittsburgh, visitation will be at Freyvogel Funeral Home on May 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A memorial mass will be celebrated at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh at 11 a.m. on May 24.

In Pittsburgh, friends will be received in the social hall of St. Paul Cathedral following the memorial mass.

Remembrances may be made to Central Catholic High School and the Little Sisters of the Poor.