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Former Aetna Life & Casualty Chairman John H. Filer Dies At Age 70

September 19, 1994

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Former Aetna Life & Casualty Chairman John H. Filer died Sunday. He was 70.

Filer died at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. N.H.

Filer helped develop the Hartford Civic Center and helped bring the Whalers hockey team to Connecticut. He was a Republican state senator from New Haven from 1957-58.

Filer joined Hartford-based Aetna in 1958 as an assistant counsel and was named general counsel in 1966. He served as chairman of the company from 1972 to 1984, when he retired.

Under Filer’s tenure, Aetna and the city jointly developed the Hartford Civic Center in 1975. He also was the driving force behind Aetna becoming the lead investor in the Hartford Whalers, a professional hockey team that moved from Boston in the 1970s.

″Concern for public issues and public welfare were a major theme of Filer’s tenure at Aetna. The concept of core involvement was very important to him,″ said Fred Laberge, a spokesman for Aetna.

Aetna more than tripled in size from an $11 billion corporation to more than $40 billion at the time of Filer’s retirement, he said.

Ronald E. Compton, Aetna’s current chairman, said he was saddened by Filer’s death. He praised Filer’s work at Aetna.

″It was during John’s tenure as chairman and CEO that Aetna grew to become the nation’s largest shareholder-owned insurance organization. This is testimony to John’s outstanding leadership and business acumen,″ he said.

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