DALLAS — Southwest Airlines co-founder Rollin King, a South Texas businessman who sat down in the 1960s with his attorney, Herb Kelleher, to sketch out the idea for an intra-Texas airline called Air Southwest, has died. He was 83.
King died Thursday in Dallas of the effects from a major stroke about a year ago, the Associated Press reported.
Southwest Airlines issued this statement: "It is with heavy heart that the company reports the passing of Southwest Airlines co-founder Rollin King."
"The extended family of Southwest Airlines employees and retirees shares in the loss of Rollin King and honors the legacy of affordable air travel he sparked more than 40 years ago," Southwest chairman, president and CEO Gary Kelly said.
The official myth was that King and Kelleher were at a San Antonio bar when they used a cocktail napkin to sketch out a map of Southwest's proposed route system: a triangle linking San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. King said a few years ago there was never any such napkin. But the myth became reality in that Southwest's first flights linked Dallas to San Antonio and to Houston. The third leg, San Antonio-Houston, began Nov. 14, 1971.