Businessman and philanthropist Paul Amos, a co-founder of Columbus-based insurer Aflac Inc. and the father of current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos, died Wednesday after a lengthy illness, the company announced Thursday. He was 88.
Funeral services will be held 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Columbus. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the St. Luke United Methodist Church Ministry Center. A private burial will follow the services.
Paul Amos grew up in Enterprise, Ala. and Milton, Fla. He co-founded Aflac in 1955 with his brothers John Amos and Bill Amos as American Family Life Insurance Co. In 1964, the name was changed to American Family Life Assurance Co. and in 1989 the name was shortened to Aflac.
A year later, Amos was named chairman and his son was named chief executive officer.
“My father was a consummate businessman who led with compassion and dignity,” Dan Amos said in a statement. “He was a straight-shooter who believed in the simple tenets of honesty and integrity. He was a gentleman, as well as a gentle man.”
The supplemental insurance company, known for its cancer insurance policies, said that in its first year of business Aflac had 6,426 policyholders and $388,000 in assets. Today the company has more than 50 million policyholders worldwide and $121 billion in assets. Aflac’s largest market is Japan, where it derives more than 75 percent of its revenue.
The company said Paul Amos pioneered the practice of selling policies directly to employees through payroll deductions. He had held numerous positions before retiring in 2001 and becoming chairman emeritus. Positions included state sales manager for Alabama/West Florida, first vice president/director of marketing, president and vice chairman.
In addition to Dan Amos, an only child, Paul Amos is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jean Roberts Amos, a daughter-in-law, Kathelen Amos, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in Paul Amos’ memory to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorder Center in Atlanta or St. Luke United Methodist Church in Columbus.