Southwest co-founder Kelleher praised for low-cost flights

January 22, 2019
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Southwest Airlines Presiding Director Bill Cunningham raises a bottle of Wild Turkey in tribute to the late Southwest Airlines Co-Founder Herb Kelleher during a celebration of life event on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. (Ryan Michalesko/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines co-founder Herb Kelleher has been remembered as a visionary who thought everyone should have access to low-cost flights.

Kelleher, who died Jan. 3 at age 87, was honored Tuesday during a celebration of life service at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Numerous employees of Dallas-based Southwest, some wearing their ID badges and uniforms, were on hand.

Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly described Kelleher as a boss, counselor, teacher, cheerleader and a friend. Kelly said Kelleher believed in the “crazy idea” of making air travel affordable for all, not just the rich, and made it happen.

Kelleher was a San Antonio lawyer when a client suggested the idea for a low-fare airline serving San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Southwest began flying in 1971.

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