LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Irish-born Kentucky billionaire and founder of international agribusiness company Alltech has died. Pearse Lyons was 73.

Alltech released a statement saying Lyons died Thursday from an acute lung condition that developed during recovery from heart surgery in November.

A biochemist by education, Lyons earned master’s and doctoral degrees in brewing science from the University of Birmingham. He moved to the United States to help a distillery improve its processes and launched Alltech from his Lexington garage in 1980.

The company focuses on all-natural nutrition products for animals and humans.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Lyons was a major philanthropist whose donations targeted science education. He was also a key figure in bringing the World Equestrian Games to Lexington in 2010.

Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.