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Billionaire Philanthropist Harold Simmons Remembered

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Steve Pickett
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Some of the most prominent politicians and business people in the state came together Thursday in Dallas to remember billionaire and business legend Harold Simmons.

The 82-year-old was one of the richest men in America, but at his memorial service the focus was on what he gave, not what he made.

Governor Rick Perry, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, billionaire couple Kenny and Lisa Troutt, all gathered inside Park Cities Baptist Church to say farewell to Simmons.

“Harold Simmons was just phenomenal. There’s no one like him. He’s been generous. He and wife Annette to the city of Dallas, all the many things they’ve done, known and unknown,” said Ellen Terry, a luxury real estate specialist.

Simmons built his fortune acquiring industrial companies.  Many called him a corporate raider.  But his name and legacy in Dallas is also tied to his giving.  Simmons donated millions to medical research, the arts and education.

“Harold Simmons was a consummate Dallasite. He thought big. He gave big. And he made things happen,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Simmons also used his fortune to play politics.  He called President Obama the most dangerous man in America. He spent millions funding mostly Republican political action committees.

Not everyone cared for Simmons’ politics, but few could quibble with his giving to the Dallas community and the world.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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