John Sperling, University of Phoenix founder, dies

Kylie Lacey's picture

John Glen Sperling, who revolutionized the business of college education and access to it by creating the for-profit University of Phoenix, has died, according to a statement posted on the Apollo Education Group's website.

Sperling, 93, died Friday, according to the statement.

"Dr. Sperling's indomitable ideas and life's work served as a catalyst for innovations widely accepted as having made higher education more accessible to adult students," the statement reads in part.

Sperling founded the chain of schools in the 1970s and retired from its parent company in 2012, when the University of Phoenix had become a sometimes-controversial symbol of the rapid growth and excesses of for-profit universities.

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