Henry Bloch, co-founder of tax company H&R Block, dies at 96

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Tax preparer H&R Block says its co-founder, Henry Bloch, has died at the age of 96.

The company says he died of natural causes Tuesday at St. Luke’s Hospice in Kansas City.

Bloch founded H&R Block in 1955 with his brother, Richard, after the Internal Revenue Service stopped providing free income tax returns service.

Henry Bloch retired as the company’s chief executive officer in 1992 and as chairman of the board of directors in 2000. He also was a philanthropist who started a foundation with his wife, Marion, that supported numerous charitable causes, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

H&R Block president and chief executive officer Richard Green said in a written statement that Bloch “embodied the best of American business.”

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