Dominican rum figure dies

George Arzeno Brugal, president of the Dominican Republic’s largest rum distiller, died in Tampa, FL, Friday while taking part in government-sponsored talks to deal with the effects of the global economic crisis.

Luis Conception, a company spokesman, confirmed Brugal's death, saying he had not been ill and that his children were with him when he died.

Brugal was president of the rum and beverage company Brugal, founded in 1888.A year ago this month it sold 83% of the company's shares to The Edrington Group, a Scottish distilling company, for $400 million.

He also was president of the Brugal Foundation which has made major grants to non-profit Dominican institutions for the past decade.

Brugal distills a variety of rums, such as Barceló and Bermúdez, in addition to the Brugal label.

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