University of Phoenix founder John Sperling dies at 93

The founder of two education giants, died Friday, according to his son and chairman of his company.

Dr. John Sperling founded the University of Phoenix and the Apollo Education group.

It was reported Sunday that Sperling died Friday in San Francisco at the age of 93 after a long battle with cancer.

"Dr. Sperling’s vision, pioneering spirit and boundless resolve to improve the world through accessible higher education for working adult students provided a roadmap for families, nations and economies to evolve, advance, grow and prosper," his son Peter said in a statement on the Apollo group's website .

"As we said last year in a ceremony held in his honor: John Sperling never backed down from a fight. As a boy, he fought sickness and poverty. As a young man, he fought for workers’ rights. Later, he championed the cause to help students who were ignored by the traditional higher education system. Finally, when he founded University of Phoenix, John Sperling challenged anyone who tried to stop him. As others have said before, ‘Anything worth having is worth fighting for.’ John Sperling lived these words every day of his life. Most importantly, he empowered those around him to do the same. His legacy, and ours, is to continue that fight.”

The Apollo Education Group was founded in 1973 to help educate and further the needs of working adults.

The University of Phoenix , founded in Phoenix three years later, is one of its subsidiaries.

RELATED: 500 affected by layoffs at Apollo group, University of Phoenix


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