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Roy D. Chapin Jr. Dies

August 7, 2001

DETROIT (AP) _ Roy D. Chapin Jr., the former chief executive of American Motors Corp. who spearheaded the acquisition of Jeep, has died of heart failure.

Chapin died Sunday in Nantucket, Mass. He was 85.

Chapin was the former chairman and chief executive officer of American Motors Corp., and the son of Roy D. Chapin, one of the founders of the Hudson Motor Car Co.

Chapin was instrumental in the acquisition of Jeep Corp. from Kaiser Industries in 1970.

``He was certainly a pioneer,″ said Mike Aberlich, Chrysler Group spokesman. ``He was in charge of the company back when Jeep became a household name.″

Chrysler took over American Motors in 1987.

Chapin entered the automotive industry as an experimental engineer with Hudson in 1938. He later became assistant treasurer and a director of American Motors.

He became American Motors chairman and chief executive officer in January 1967, retiring in 1977. He was on the board of directors until 1987.

Chapin also served on the board of directors of Whirlpool Corp., American Natural Resources Corp., Coastal Corp. and Gould Corp.

Chapin is survived by his wife Loise; sons, Roy D. III, William R. and Christopher K.; daughter, Penny Chapin de Estrada; stepson, Robert L. Wickser Jr.; stepdaughters, Alexandra Balantine, Lita Toland, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also is survived by brothers, John C. and Daniel; and sisters, Joan C. Hutton and Marian C. Higbie.

A funeral service is planned for Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. EDT at St. Paul’s Church, in Healdsburg, Calif. A memorial service will be held at Christ Church, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., at a future date.

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