WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- J. Paul Sticht, a former executive at tobacco company R.J. Reynolds, died March 27, after suffering from long-term health problems, according to his alma mater, Grove City College in Pennsylvania. He was 89.
He lived in North Palm Beach, Fla., and had homes in Meredith, N.H., and Winston-Salem.
Mr. Sticht twice served as chairman of R.J. Reynolds Industries Inc., the predecessor to Reynolds American Inc. His first tenure was from 1979 until retirement in 1984, then as interim chairman in 1989. He was credited with helping the tobacco firm expand into other consumer goods.
"Mr. Sticht clearly left behind a legacy as a business and community leader in Winston-Salem," said Jan Smith, a spokeswoman for Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American Inc. "He led the company through a very exciting chapter in its history."
Mr. Sticht also worked as chief executive of Castle Springs, a bottled-water company, and as president of
"He truly was a self-made man, but a very refined man," said Ronald Sustana, a longtime friend and co-worker who said Mr. Sticht had three jobs to work himself through college. "He didn't push or badger people. That was kind of the hallmark of how he did things. He was loyal to his friends."