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Influential banking executive Walter Shipley of Chase Manhattan fame has died.

Shipley died of unreported causes on Friday, Jan. 11, at 83, according to information provided by JPMorgan Chase (JPM) .

"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of Walter V. Shipley's passing," said Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, in a letter to employees. "On Friday, the world lost a critical force behind what is now JPMorgan Chase and, more importantly, an individual universally regarded with praise for his character, generosity and business acumen."

Born in 1935 in New Jersey, Shipley had a long career that included four decades with the institution that would become JPMorgan.

Starting his career at New York Trust Company which was later bought out by Chemical Banking Corp., Shipley led mergers between Chemical and Texas Commerce Bank in 1987, Manufacturers Hanover in 1991 and Chase Manhattan Bank in 1995. Shipley was at the top of Chemical for some 15 years, having worked his way up the banking ranks. Though he retired in 1999, a year before Chase acquired J.P. Morgan, he's largely credited for laying the groundwork that made JPMorgan Chase the institution it is today.

"Having grown up in and around the banking business, Shipley was experienced in both effective and ineffective management styles, especially when it came to handling mergers," reads Harvard Business School's entry on Shipley. "Consequently, when Shipley assumed leadership of Chemical, he made a point of emphasizing trust among employees and the company."
 
Shipley was also a trustee of The New York and Presbyterian Hospital, director of Verizon New York and New England, and chairman emeritus of Goodwill Industries of Greater New York, according to his profile on Bloomberg.
 
Shipley began his career in the 1950s, the "old fashioned way -- calling on business customers and making loans," reads a story about the banker from the New York Times in 1995, which noted that Shipley had never had a "public relations specialist to buff up his image," but was a forced to reckoned with in the industry. 
 
This story has been updated.

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