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March 18 (Reuters) - American Century Investments founder James Evans Stowers Jr. has died at 90 years old, the company said on Tuesday.
Stowers, also known as a philanthropist, died on Monday "from natural causes following a period of declining health," the Kansas City, Missouri, asset manager said in a press release.
He remained a director of the company until the time of his death. Stowers was well-known - by fund industry standards - for advertisements that American Century ran in financial publications noting his habit of eating a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, to stress the company's humble roots.
After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War Two, Stowers founded what became American Century in 1958 with $100,000 from 24 investors. Years later, after he and his wife Virginia were each treated for cancer, they created and funded the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, which owns about 45 percent of American Century.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, with a 41 percent stake purchased in 2011 for $848 million, is American Century's second-largest owner.
American Century has $141 billion under management and roughly 1,300 employees worldwide.