Herb Kohler, 83, executive chairman of Kohler Co. died Saturday

Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., a business titan who fortified his family’s namesake manufacturing firm and put Wisconsin on the world golf stage with the creation of a course named Whistling Straits, has died.

Kohler was 83 when he died Saturday.

“His zest for life, adventure and impact inspires all of us,” his family said in a statement Sunday. “We traveled together, celebrated together, and worked together. He was all in, all the time, leaving an indelible mark on how we live our lives today and carry on his legacy.”

Kohler was the CEO of Kohler Company for 43 years before he handed the role off to his son, David Kohler, in 2015. Since then, he continued in the company as its executive chairman.

Herbert Vollrath Kohler Jr., chairman of the Kohler Company is shown Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at the American Club in Kohler, Wis.

During his time as CEO, Kohler grew the company from a $133 million operation in 1972 to one that in 2015 was approaching $6 billion in annual revenue.

The company credits Herb Kohler with having the vision to understand that the company’s business, although it involved manufacturing plumbing fixtures, was really about designing products that created delight for users. Under his leadership, the Kohler Company created products that weren’t merely functional, but created a joyful, memorable experience for those who used them.

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