(Bloomberg) -- Walter V. Shipley, former Chairman and CEO of what is now JPMorgan Chase, has died. He was 83.

Shipley led both Chase Manhattan Bank and Chemical Bank for more than 40 years, engineering mergers with Texas Commerce Bank in 1987, Manufacturers Hanover in 1991 and Chase Manhattan Bank in 1995.

The Newark, New Jersey, native retired from Chase in 1999, a year before its acquisition of JPMorgan. It’s now the largest bank in the U.S., with some $2.5 trillion in assets.

“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,” Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chairman, said in note sent to employees.

”Walter fostered an open, entrepreneurial meritocracy – one that carries through to this day at JPMorgan Chase," Dimon said. "Widely respected for being a straight shooter, Walter believed there was no substitute for talent, drive and hard work.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Hailey Waller in New York at hwaller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net, Ian Fisher, Matthew G. Miller

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