One of the UK’s best-known businessmen, Sir Ken Morrison, who was the driving force behind the supermarket Morrisons, has died aged 85 following a short illness, his family have said.
He died at his home in North Yorkshire. Sir Ken was a rather shy man, born in Bradford in 1931. He owed his start in business to his father William who ran a small grocery chain set up in 1899.
When his father became seriously ill the young Ken was the obvious choice to manage the business and aged 26 he began the process that would see the business develop into one of the country’s largest retailers.
In a statement his family said: “Sir Ken was, of course, a unique figure in the history of grocery retailing in the UK, for more than half a century being the driving force at the heart of Morrisons as it grew from two market stalls to become one of the UK’s largest retailers.
“But to us he was a greatly committed and loving family man, as inspirational and central to us in our daily lives as he was in the business. His drive and ambition, quick intelligence and encyclopaedic knowledge were matched with a real curiosity in his fellow man.
“He had a gentle humour and kindness about him and he could, and would, talk with genuine interest to anyone.”
The funeral will be held in private with a public celebration of his life later.