January 16, 2019 / 10:53 PM / 3 months ago

John Bogle, Vanguard founder and low-cost investing pioneer, dies at 89

VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Jan 16 (Reuters) - John Bogle, whose family struggles during the Great Depression led him to pioneer low-cost investing and to found Vanguard Group, one of the world's biggest mutual fund firms, died Wednesday at the age of 89, Vanguard said.

Bogle had been in frail health for years, surviving at least six heart attacks and receiving a heart transplant in 1996. Yet he remained a vital presence through his later years as he pressed for reforms in corporate governance and fund administration, mixing sharp rhetoric with a wry sense of humor.

He also became something of a curmudgeon in the industry he pioneered through Vanguard Group Inc.

Still, Bogle kept deep professional friendships and maintained a loyal popular following through his books and public speaking appearances. Some termed themselves "Bogleheads" and spread online his messages of thrift, and investments in low-fee funds.

"He made himself a centurion to the individual investor, always playing the retail communication" said Charles Ellis, an industry consultant and a former Vanguard funds director. "He had one great message, about lowering fees, and he kept hammering away at it," Ellis said. (Reporting by Ross Kerber Editing by James Dalgleish)

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