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Canadian Business Leader Arthur Irving Dies At Age 93

Arthur Irving, the New Brunswick businessman who built Irving Oil into one of Canada’s leading energy companies, has died at age 93.

Arthur was the second oldest son of New Brunswick industrialist K.C. Irving. He followed in his father’s footsteps and took over the oil business, growing it into a much larger company than the one he inherited.

Irving Oil today operates the largest refinery in Canada and has a retail network of gas stations that stretches into New England in the U.S.

Forbes Magazine listed Arthur Irving as one of the top 10 richest Canadians with an estimated net worth of $6.4 billion U.S.

Born in 1930, Irving attended Nova Scotia's Acadia University before joining Irving Oil in 1951, where he worked with his father and two brothers.

Arthur Irving became president of Irving Oil in 1972 and was chairman emeritus of the Saint John, New Brunswick-based company when he died.

Arthur Irving suffered a few missteps in his career. In 2013, he proposed to build a pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta to his refinery in New Brunswick, a plan that ultimately failed.

During most of his life, Arthur Irving's business interests were aligned with his two brothers, J.K. and Jack, as they each took responsibility for different segments of the family’s empire.

Biographers have described Arthur Irving as “talkative” and a “super salesman,” traits that helped Irving Oil to grow over the years.

In 2009, the three Irving brothers separated their business interests, with Arthur assuming control of the energy unit and setting up a trust to control it.

Arthur Irving is credited with creating the Big Stop retail gas station chain that has won over consumers with its customer-centric approach.

In a written statement about his death, Irving Oil described Arthur as being “a steadfast champion of Atlantic Canada and its people.”

Irving Oil is privately held. Its shares do not trade on a public stock exchange.