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Cintas Founder Richard T. Farmer Dies

Richard T. Farmer founded Cintas Corporation, which would become one of the region's largest companies.
Courtesy of Cintas Corp.
Richard T. Farmer founded Cintas Corporation, which would become one of the region's largest companies.

Millionaire and Cintas Corporation founder Richard T. Farmer has died. He was 86.

Farmer graduated with a business degree from Miami University in 1956. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he joined the family business. He left there in 1968 to found his own company, which would become Cintas, and purchased his family's company in the early 1970s.

Farmer retired as Cintas board chair in 2018, a position he'd held since 1968. He also served as CEO until Aug. 1, 1995. His son, Scott Farmer, is the current executive chairman.

Farmer died Aug. 4, according to Miami University. The Farmer School of Business posted a remembrance on its website, writing:

"While it’s easy to quantify his financial support, the value of the time he spent on campus, serving on the University’s Board of Trustees, the Farmer School’s Board of Visitors, meeting with student groups, faculty and in classrooms is beyond measure. His business acumen made us better stewards of resources and helped guide our strategy. Students and faculty benefited from his sage advice and candor."

In 1992, he and his wife, Joyce Barnes Farmer, provided the cornerstone gift to the School of Business. A little more than a decade later, they announced a $30 million leadership gift through the Farmer Family Foundation, of which $25 million helped underwrite the construction of the Farmer School of Business building, his namesake, a Miami release says.

“Dick Farmer’s guidance, insight, support and generosity toward Miami University throughout the years has been immeasurable,” Miami University President Gregory Crawford said in a statement. “His contributions to the Farmer School of Business and to Miami University have afforded generations of students as well as faculty and staff members a lifetime of personal and career success. We will dearly miss him.”

Cintas, meanwhile, is now a Fortune 500 industry-leading supplier of corporate uniforms, restroom supplies, entrance and logo mats, promotional products and more. Headquartered in Mason, it has nearly 500 facilities in North America.

"My father has been the heart and soul of Cintas for many years," said Scott Farmer at the time of his father's retirement in 2018. "His vision and commitment have helped the company thrive and positioned it for even greater success in the future."

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.