Clay Mathile, Dayton-area businessman and philanthropist, dies at 82

DAYTON — Clay Mathile, a Dayton-area businessman and philanthropist has passed away.

Mathile’s family announced that he passed away today at his home near Dayton. He was 82.

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“Clay was a visionary leader, impassioned philanthropist, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He profoundly changed the lives of many through his generous heart, his entrepreneurial spirit, and his unwavering belief in others,” the family’s statement read.

Born in Portage, Ohio on Jan. 11, 1941, Mathile and his wife, MaryAnn, moved their family to Dayton in 1970 so he could begin working at Iams Food Company, later known as The Iams Company. He and his wife became the sole owners of the company, and he became CEO, in 1982 when founder Paul F. Iams retired.

Mathile grew The Iams Company into a billion-dollar company before selling it to P&G for $2.3 billion in 1999.

Following his entrepreneurial career, Mathile set out to help business owners with Aileron, a nonprofit dedicated to developing small business leaders and improving the quality of life in America.

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Mathile and his wife were passionate philanthropists. Together, they founded The Mathile Family Foundation and donated more than $500 million to projects, foundations, and organizations.

Mathile was a proud Daytonian and believed in the city. He and his family created the Mathile Community Awards which awarded more than $60 million to area projects like 2nd and Main, Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, the YMCA, the Cassano Health Center, and Wright Dunbar, Inc.

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