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Bank President, Civic Leader Dead at 83

August 28, 1988

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) _ Richard P. Chapman, former chairman of the board and president of New England Merchants National Bank and longtime Boston civic leader, has died. He was 83.

Chapman died Friday at Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, N.H., according to his family.

Chapman, who joined the old Merchants National Bank of Boston as a 22-year- old Harvard graduate, became president in 1952.

Under Chapman’s leadership, New England Merchants became Boston’s fourth- largest bank. Chapman became chairman of the board in 1964 and retired in 1970.

During his administration the bank merged with the Day Trust Co. and the New England Trust Co. and acquired the assets of the Pilgrim Trust Co. Eventually, it was renamed the New England Merchants National Bank. In 1970, Merchants formed a one-bank holding company, New England Merchants Co. Inc.

In 1972 he was honored by the Harvard Business School Associates of Boston as Boston’s Business Statesman of the Year. In 1960 he received the highest award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Survivors include his wife, a son and a daughter.

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