RIP, Herb Kelleher, co-founder, CEO and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines. His obit in The Journal is here.
I had the privilege of interviewing Herb numerous times when I wrote about airlines for The San Francisco Chronicle and South Florida Sun Sentinel. At the time, Southwest was building a beachhead in California, knocking out PSA and AirCal.
Once, I recall a fun night with Herb and fellow business journalists at a Society of American Business Editors & Writers conference in Phoenix. After speaking to the group, Herb showed up at “happy hour” with Wild Turkey in a brown paper bag, his well-known drink of choice. He had a great sense of humor.
Business books were written about Southwest when Herb was CEO; one of them — “Hidden Value: How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People” by the Harvard Business School Press — cited a profile I wrote about him for The Chronicle.
Herb was an American business icon, redefining the airline business. He will be missed.