CINCINNATI — Richard T. "Dick" Farmer, founder and chairman emeritus of the Cintas Corporation, has died, the company announced Thursday afternoon.
"His legacy and the culture of honesty, integrity, and professionalism that he instilled at Cintas continues today and into the future," the company wrote in a release Thursday. "Our sympathy goes out to the entire Farmer family, including Joyce, his beloved wife, and Scott Farmer, Dick’s son and Cintas’ Executive Chairman."
Farmer served as the Cintas chief executive officer from 1968 to 2003.
After graduating with a major in marketing from Miami University in 1956, Farmer served in the Marines, got married, and then joined his family’s Acme Wiper and Industrial Laundry Company. In 1968, Farmer left Acme to expand into the uniform industry, eventually becoming the nation’s leading supplier of uniforms.
Watch this 2010 video recognizing Farmer as a Great Living Cincinnatian, narrated by WCPO's Clyde Gray:
Farmer was inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame, named E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year, was honored by the Cincinnati USA Regional chamber as one of the Great Living Cincinnatians and was twice named CEO of the Year by Financial World magazine, according to a LinkedIn post from Miami University. He is the recipient of a Doctor of Laws degree from Miami University, whose business school bears Farmer's name.
Miami University issued a statement on Farmer's death on Thursday:
"To the thousands of students, hundreds of faculty, staff and administrators and the alumni of Miami University, and especially of the school that bears his name – the Farmer School of Business, he was so much more than the name on the building, scholarship or professorship. He was a mentor, advisor – part of the team. He gave more than money – he shared his business insights, his humor and his belief that our students, and the faculty that taught them, could change the world. In so doing, he changed ours."