John W. Galbreath was remembered as a sportsman, patriot and philanthropist whose life was rich in business success and in the adoration he gained from his generosity.
"There was no finer person than John Galbreath," said former Gov. James A. Rhodes. "He never forgot his humble beginnings, and he shared his success through his many generous contributions in the state of Ohio and especially Columbus."Galbreath died of heart trouble Wednesday at age 90. Galbreath, who Fortune magazine estimated in 1986 to be worth $400 million with his son, Dan, earned the bulk of his fortune through real estate and used it to indulge his sports hobby and develop Columbus.
Galbreath was former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a horse breeder whose thoroughbreds twice won the Kentucky Derby.
The Pirates won three World Series under the Galbreaths, who purchased the team in 1946 and sold their interest in in 1985.
Former baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn called Galbreath "one of the great ... gentlemen American sports has produced, as beloved in the baseball world as at the Kentucky Derby."
The Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, author of the book "The Power of Positive Thinking," will speak at a memorial service set for Saturday at First Community Church in suburban Marble Cliff.
"John Galbreath liked Norman Vincent Peale's philosophy and practiced it," said Columbus real estate broker Richard Royer, a friend of Galbreath for 25 years. "It made him fun to be with."