Stephens Inc. spokesman Frank Thomas said Stephens died Saturday after suffering from declining health for some time. Stephens had a mild stroke in 1998, and Thomas said Stephens had been hospitalized for about a month before going home Thursday.
Stephens in 1962 became a member of the Augusta National Golf Club -- which hosts the annual Masters tournament -- and served as its fourth chairman, from 1991-1998.
``Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters tournament have lost a wonderful individual and an outstanding past chairman and personally I have lost a dear friend,'' said current Augusta chairman Hootie Johnson, who succeeded Stephens. ``Under Jack's leadership, the Masters continued to grow and his integrity helped maintain its success. On behalf of the club's membership, I want to express our deepest sympathy to Jack's family.''
Stephens, along with his brother W.R. ``Witt'' Stephens, was one of Arkansas' richest and most powerful individuals. Witt Stephens started Little Rock-based Stephens Inc. in 1933 and Jack, who joined the firm in 1946, built it to its peak, making it the largest brokerage house with headquarters off Wall Street.
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