SALT LAKE CITY, April 21 (UPI) -- R. Earl Holding -- the owner of Sinclair Oil Corp., two hotel lines, a ski resort and other businesses -- died at age 86, a Sinclair spokesman said.
Holding, who died Friday, owned the Grand America and Little America hotels and Snowbasin Ski Resort in addition to the oil company and other businesses, the Salt Lake City Desert News reported.
Holding's business empire was reportedly worth a $2.6 billion, Forbes said, and Forbes 400 ranked Holding as the 155th richest person in the country.
"As an individual he was a lion of a man. We all had tremendous respect, admiration and love for both Mr. and Mrs. Holding. He just was a remarkable, rare individual and one of the brightest business minds that I've met," said Clint Ensign, senior vice president of the Sinclair Cos.
Holding is believed to have been among America's largest landowners, with approximately 400,000 acres across the West.
Holding attended the University of Utah and was a civil engineer for the Bureau of Reclamation. He and his wife, Carol, were married in 1949. The couple had three children.
Holding in 2002 suffered a severe stroke that left him partially paralyzed. He continued, however, to lead his organization for years after that.
The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Ensign said it was his understanding the lingering symptoms of his stroke at least contributed to his death.