Alpheus Lee Ellis, 89, who sold his chain of Florida banks...


November 02, 1995

Alpheus Lee Ellis, 89, who sold his chain of Florida banks to Nations Bank and became one of the nation's richest men, died of a heart attack Sunday in Tarpon Springs, Fla. He was one of the largest stockholders of NationsBank, the country's fourth-largest bank, and was senior chairman of the board of a subsidiary, NationsBank of Florida.

He bought several Florida banks in the 1950s and 1960s and built them into Ellis Banking Corp., which grew to 75 branches in 16 counties with assets of $1.6 billion. He sold out to NCNB Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., in 1983 for $177 million.

This month, Forbes magazine ranked him as the nation's 249th richest person, estimating his worth at more than $490 million.

Nat Kelly Cole, 36, the son of the late singer Nat King Cole, died Oct. 24 after a long illness in Los Angeles.

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