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Chick-Fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy Dies At Age 93

A spokesman says he died surrounded by family members.

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A spokesman for Chick-fil-A has said that the restaurant chain's founder, S. Truett Cathy, has died aged 93, the Associated Press reported.

AP Photo/John Bazemore

The company's Mark Baldwin said Cathy died at home surrounded by family members at 1:53 a.m., and that no funeral plans had been finalized.

Chick-Fil-A’s website turns memorial for founder http://t.co/2TLJeXgwFO

Jon Passantino@passantino

Chick-Fil-A’s website turns memorial for founder http://t.co/2TLJeXgwFO

8:42 AM - 08 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Chick-fil-A famously famously operates a policy where its restaurants remain closed on Sundays.

Cathy was a devout Southern Baptist who taught Sunday school classes for 50 years, and the "closed on Sunday" policy was an extension of his faith.

A statement from the company confirmed that their restaurants will continue the policy and will remain in private hands.

Cathy was replaced as Chick-fil-A president by his oldest son Dan in 2001, but remained chairman emeritus until his death.

I'd like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in the right order. We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed. I have always encouraged my restaurant operators and team members to give back to the local community. We should be about more than just selling chicken, we should be a part of our customers' lives and the communities in which we serve.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A and the Cathy family courted controversy with their vocal opposition to gay marriage.

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

Cathy's WinShape Foundation had donated millions of dollars to organizations opposing LGBT rights.

This led to LGBT rights groups to call for boycotts and protests against Chick-fil-A, which led to a national same-sex "kiss-in" (pictured) at the company's restaurants.

This was preceded by a "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day", organized by conservative supporters of the company's anti-gay marriage stance.

In response to the controversy, the company released a statement saying: "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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