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American Financial Group, Inc. Announces Details about Carl H. Lindner, Jr. Remembrances and the "Only in America" Celebration Tour
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CINCINNATI, Oct 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE/Nasdaq: AFG) announced information related to remembrances for Carl H. Lindner, Jr. as well as additional details surrounding the Carl H. Lindner, Jr. "Only in America" Celebration Tour, scheduled to begin at 9:00 am Eastern Time on Friday, October 21, 2011.

Remembrances

Funeral services for Mr. Lindner will be private. The family requests that memorial gifts be given to the Kenwood Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Parade Details

  • The parade will begin at the corner of Joe Nuxhall Way and 2nd Street in downtown Cincinnati, in front of the main entrance to Great American Ball Park.
  • The parade will include seven vehicles, consisting of a police escort, a filming vehicle, an authentic UDF milk truck from Mr. Lindner's youth, a hearse, and police cruisers representing several communities that are part of the parade route.
  • There are no planned stops or street closures along the parade route, beyond customary "rolling closures" as part of a funeral procession.
  • The Company welcomes the members of media to join in along the entire parade route and anticipates participation by community groups and churches to pay tribute along the way. There are no designated or reserved media passes, as the entire route is open to the public.
  • The parade is expected to last approximately 90 minutes, concluding at approximately 10:30 am near the corner of Kenwood and Montgomery Roads.

A detailed narrative of the parade route follows in order to provide a greater insight into the significance of Mr. Lindner's final journey through his beloved city:

"Only in America"
Carl H. Lindner, Jr.'s Celebration Tour

Carl H. Lindner, Jr. was a modest man of magnificent achievements. He changed the world, but never allowed the world to change him. He remained at heart the "Norwood guy" who took great joy in simple pleasures. His faith. Patriotism. Love of family. Fast cars and fresh ice cream.

Nothing made him happier than driving the streets of his beloved Cincinnati. His final tour through the city follows routes he traveled often, past his favorite places and some of the landmarks along an amazing journey that took him from ordinary milkman to one of the greatest business leaders in the United States and one of the greatest Cincinnatians of all time.

Some of the neighborhoods and places may come as a surprise to those who did not know him well. His influence extended to the White House and the top of Wall Street. Yet his kindness reached out to the most destitute corners of the city, touching and improving the lives of countless people in Cincinnati. His greatest acts of kindness were unprompted - a gift, a surprising check or an opportunity for someone he read about in the paper.

His life will be remembered not for what he owned or sold, but for all that he gave away - his time, his wealth, his love and his heart.

For every institution that benefited from his generous support, there were many more individuals who were personally touched by his giving spirit.

In the Bible, Jesus says the two greatest commandments to Christians are to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart," and "love your neighbor as yourself." That was Carl H. Lindner Jr.

Parade Route

Start Time:9:00 am Friday, October 21, Great American Ball Park (corner of Joe Nuxhall Way and 2nd Street)

1. Paul Brown Stadium, the Cincinnati Reds and Great American Ball Park

Billy Graham said, "Carl was very supportive of our last Crusade in Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium in 2002. A highlight of my week was to have lunch with some of his terrific family. When I think of Cincinnati, to me, 'Mr. Cincinnati' is Carl Lindner, and I will always be thankful that God brought us together as friends and as workers together in the Gospel ministry.

"I will certainly miss my old friend, for whom I had the greatest admiration and affection. I know that when I get to Heaven, I will meet people there whose lives were impacted because of Carl's support of many Christian organizations, including my own ministry of proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

When Major League Baseball pressured Marge Schott to sell the Cincinnati Reds, the team was all but sold to a Cleveland businessman when Mr. Lindner stepped in and purchased majority ownership in 1999, to make sure the beloved Reds stayed in Cincinnati under local control.

"He bought the club purely for his city," said John Allen, who was the Managing Executive at the time. "The Reds are such an institution, and he loved Cincinnati. Carl absolutely laid the foundation that made the Reds what they are today -- the young talent, the farm system."

Fans cheered when he brought superstar Ken Griffey, Jr. back to Cincinnati, where he grew up. He personally bought more than 1 million tickets that he gave away to nurses, police officers, teachers, families, firemen and students. The students also received an encouraging note from Mr. Lindner:

"While I wasn't fortunate enough to go to college, you should know that I 'study' every day of my life. I love to learn and would encourage you to increase your knowledge in every way."

Mr. Lindner worked with Hamilton County to build Great American Ball Park, named after his flagship company, Great American Insurance Group. To help cover the $320 million cost, he paid $75 million for naming rights. The new Ball Park was finished on time and taxpayers were not asked to pay for any cost overruns. Mr. Lindner also insisted that the Ball Park should have a Reds Hall of Fame. He sold the Reds in 2006.

Contact: John Allen: 513-550-4510

Parade Route, Continued

  • Drop down ramp to Pete Rose Way to Broadway
  • Left on Broadway
  • 9:02 am Left on 4th Street - passing Great American Tower

2. Great American Insurance Group Tower

Great American Insurance Group Tower soars 665 feet into the clouds. It is Cincinnati's tallest skyscraper and the biggest construction project downtown since Carew Tower was built in 1930. It was one of the biggest projects of its kind in the U.S. in 2011, with 800,000 square feet of office space. It created 5,000 construction jobs and has space for 6,100 office jobs. Nearly two-thirds of those offices will be used by employees of Mr. Lindner's American Financial Group, who are among the thousands he has hired in Cincinnati as he expanded his businesses and brought new corporate headquarters to the city.

The $400 million project was completed on budget and on time, stimulating the city's economy, creating a new business neighborhood in the east end of Fourth Street and adding a diamond-studded, 130-foot tiara to the Queen City skyline.

John Barrett, CEO of Western & Southern, which partnered with American Financial Group on the project, said it shows how Mr. Lindner's sons, Carl III, Craig and Keith, have continued their father's commitment to downtown and the city Mr. Lindner loved.

Barrett said, "It could have been very easy to move a little bit north. You can build more cheaply, shed the city taxes, and every employee gets a raise. Instead, they made the commitment to stay downtown. He was a dreamer and a builder. Look at all he did. Banking, energy, real estate, insurance, pro sports, media, newspapers. He knew every major type of business. He has improved the plight of so many people in our region. Nothing comes near it. Nobody."

Contact: John Barrett: 513-629-1005

Parade Route, Continued

  • 9:04 am Continue on 4th Street - passing the Dixie Terminal and 1 E. 4th Street

3. Dixie Terminal and One East Fourth Street

Historic Dixie Terminal, once a streetcar and bus stop, has been owned by Mr. Lindner since the late 1960s. By 1968 he owned all but one building in the downtown city block between Fourth and Third and Vine and Walnut streets.

One of the greatest landmarks on Mr. Lindner's amazing journey from milkman to hugely successful businessman is One East Fourth. It was home to his second-floor, white-carpeted offices and the conference room where his executive team, known as "The Lunch Bunch," worked together over lunches that sometimes stretched into dinners and beyond. When it was built, it was the new home of Provident Bank, which Mr. Lindner took over in 1966 in a battle with the Cincinnati banking establishment. Provident was known as "Barney Kroger's Bank," for the Kroger founder who started it. Directors and board members warned the public that the "ice cream man" would taint Provident with a "merchant's approach" and ruin the bank. Instead, he turned a sleepy bank into a Cincinnati financial powerhouse and broke the stuffy "bankers' hours" rule by keeping Provident branches open in the evenings and on Saturdays, when customers could actually do their banking without missing work. He offered the lowest loan interest rates and the highest deposit rates, while pioneering a new marketing tool: free toasters and TVs. When he literally rolled out the red carpet at the new Provident at One East Fourth, thousands flocked to the new bank to see state-of-the-art offices and stunning new modern art that decorated the walls.

By the time Mr. Lindner sold Provident to National City Bank in 2004, his $20 million investment brought $2.1 billion. But he kept his office at One East Fourth. Up until his death on Oct. 17, 2011, he still worked there almost daily and enjoyed lunches with his executives and friends who visited from all over the world.

Parade Route, Continued

  • Right on Vine Street
  • 9:06 am Right on 5th Street - passing Fountain Square
  • 9:07am Continue on 5th Street - passing the Taft Theater

4. Taft Theatre and the Carl and Edyth Lindner Children's LearningCenter

A complete renovation of historic Taft Theatre was done thanks to a major gift from Mr. Lindner that covered half the cost. The beautiful restoration provides a new home for the Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, which has received generous support from the Lindners. It also will be used for performances by the Cincinnati Pops and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which have also been generously supported by Mr. and Mrs. Lindner.

The Children's Learning Center at the Masonic Temple is one of two that were made possible by donations from Mr. Lindner. The other is in Norwood. The Learning Centers help dyslexic children.

Parade Route, Continued

  • Left on Broadway
  • Left on 6th Street
  • 9:10 am Continue on 6th Street - passing the Cincinnatian Hotel

5.The Cincinnatian Hotel

The historic Cincinnatian is the city's premier boutique hotel, a destination for rock stars and celebrities. Built as a Grand Hotel in 1882, it was at one time among the tallest buildings in Cincinnati. It has been owned by Mr. Lindner since the late 1980s, when he purchased and renovated it.

Parade Route, Continued

  • Right on Elm Street
  • Right on 7th Street
  • Left on Vine Street
  • 9:15 am Left on 9th Street - passing Otto Armleder School

6. Otto Armleder School

In 1989, Mr. Lindner and his family founded Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, to give local families a high-quality K-12 education alternative with a solid foundation in faith. Headmaster Randy Brunk says, "This school is one of about 10 or 12 in the country that when you say the name it is known nationally. It quickly built itself a reputation that is very serious about academics. Christian schools have struggled to build facilities to match the mission of excellence. So to have the Lindner family so involved really made a statement.

"My guess is that the family has contributed more than $70 million. It's important to point that out, because it shows the commitment and character of the family. There have never been strings attached. One of the number-one strengths of the Lindners' involvement is that they do care and are involved, but only on the positive side. I've never gotten a call from any of the Lindners saying 'Hey, I need you to do something I know you don't want to do, but...' I've gotten calls like that from people who have contributed a thousand dollars, to remind me they are a donor, but never from the Lindners."

In 1999, Mr. Lindner teamed up with the Otto Armleder family trust to bring the same high-quality education to inner-city kids at the Otto Armleder School downtown.

Mr. Lindner's longtime friend Pastor Damon Lynch, Jr. said, "Brother Carl called me up and said he had built this Christian Academy, but didn't see any black children there. He wanted me to help find some black children to attend, and said he would scholarship them. He told me, 'It's not right to be a Christian school and not have any black children included.'

"People ask me why he does what he does," said Lynch. "I tell them, one, he's a born-again Christian; two, he practices and understands tithing; and three, he knows the value of giving. Carl Lindner has been doing this for years and years, long before you heard about Bill Gates giving away money. I tell everybody he understands that if you give back it will be given to you, pressed down, shaken together and in full measure."

Brunk said, "When we leave this earth, the greatest thing we can leave behind is heritage. And that character lives on in thousands of children who are being shaped by a character and ethic passed down through the way Carl Lindner invested in this institution."

Contact: Randy Brunk: 513-247-9353

Pastor Damon Lynch, Jr.: 513-821-0704

Parade Route, Continued

  • 9:16 am Right on Elm Street - passing Music Hall

7.Music Hall

Mr. Lindner has been a generous donor to the renovation and restoration of one of Cincinnati's most historic and beloved landmarks. Built in 1878, Music Hall was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1975. It is home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the annual May Festival Chorus. It has become home also to Mr. Lindner's annual Christmas parties attended by about 6,000 of his employees and friends, with entertainers such as Faith Hill, Chicago, Michael Buble, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Mr. Lindner's favorite, Frank Sinatra.

Parade Route, Continued

  • Left on 14th Street
  • Left on Central Parkway
  • 9:20 am Right on Ezzard Charles Drive - passing Cincinnati Police Memorial

8. Cincinnati Police Memorial

Mr. Lindner has been a longtime supporter of the Cincinnati Police and other local police agencies, including the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, and police in Norwood, where he grew up, and Indian Hill, where he lives. He has donated patrol cars and communications equipment.

Parade Route, Continued

  • Right on Linn Street
  • 9:22 am Left into Carl H. Lindner YMCA

9. Carl H. Lindner YMCA

In 2000, Mr. Lindner provided the funding to build a new YMCA Recreation Center in the impoverished West End, where it was badly needed for after-school programs, adult education and senior citizens.

Jerry Haralson, CEO of the Greater Cincinnati YMCA at the time, said, "When we met at his offices, we chatted a few minutes and then Mr. Lindner asked me how much it would cost. I said $1 million and he said, 'OK, we'll do it.' I said, 'Wait a minute, what do you mean? I'm just here in the feasibility stage.' But he was ready to go. It was so classic Carl Lindner.

"On the day of the groundbreaking, I got this call. He said, 'I'm concerned about the groundbreaking today. I'm worried about those families down there. How can they afford memberships?' Well, I told him we were raising $1.2 million for memberships and we were making some progress, and he said, 'OK, I will do half.' Wow, $600,000. OK! Now we have some news for the groundbreaking.

"When I got back to the office after the groundbreaking, I had another call from Mr. Lindner. 'I want to do the whole thing,' he said. So in one day, we'd gone from zero to $600,000, then from $600,000 to $1.2 million.

"That shows me the genuineness of Carl Lindner. He doesn't just give money and say I've done my duty. He bought into the project all the way. He stayed personally involved. He never asked for anything. If there was ever any kind of demand, it was only urgency, to get it done."

Mr. Lindner made memberships available but asked that families work as volunteers to earn them, to emphasize his belief that what's earned is appreciated more than what is given away.

Contact: Jerry Haralson: 407-864-8060

Parade Route, Continued

  • Left on Linn
  • 9:24 am Right on Liberty - passing Lord's Gym

10. The Lord's Gym

When Mr. Lindner learned about the work of Dick Taylor and his late wife, Ann, who devoted their lives to the Lord's Gym and the Lord's Pantry, he immediately began writing them checks to support their ministry to the city's most desperate and impoverished people. The Lord's Gym provides free weight-lifting, exercise equipment and Bible study groups, and sponsors national champion youth basketball teams. The Lord's Pantry feeds the homeless, prostitutes and anyone who needs lunch and encouragement.

Contact: Dick Taylor: 513-621-5300

Parade Route, Continued

  • 9:25 am Continue on Liberty - passing St. Francis Seraph School

11. St. Francis Seraph School

Western & Southern CEO John Barrett said, "When I was in charge of fundraising for the CISE fund (Catholic Inner-city Schools Education), we had raised $605,000 the year before and my goal was to get us to $750,000. Carl called me on the phone and said, 'Bring the Bishop to my office.' He said he would give $100,000 every year for 10 years. That's $1 million. So when we got to the ceremony we were at St. Francis Seraph School in Over the Rhine, on Liberty. Not the safest neighborhood. He handed an envelope to this little nun, and she was so excited, she didn't know what she had. He said, 'I think you should open it.' Inside were two checks, totaling $1.3 million. Not over 10 years. All there. He had also gotten Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. to contribute computers to all the schools. He wanted to put inner city schools on the same footing with all the other schools in the region. None of this was asked for."

Parade Route, Continued

  • Left on Sycamore Street
  • 9:30 am Left on Auburn Avenue - thru Christ Hospital

12. Christ Hospital

Mr. Lindner has been a generous donor to all of the major hospitals in Cincinnati, personally donating state-of-the art medical technology to make sure Cincinnati had the best life-saving equipment available. He purchased the first MRI for Cincinnati, renovated hospital rooms, installed TVs for patients, and brought the first robotic surgical technology to Cincinnati.

Christ Hospital's talented heart surgeon Dr. Dean Kereiakes was personally persuaded by Mr. Lindner to come home from San Francisco and practice in Cincinnati. Kereiakes said, "We were the first to use transmitted EKGs in ambulances. It shortened the time to treatment for saving lives. It saves heart muscle and saves lives. He made that possible by donating $326,000 six years ago. He has saved a huge number of lives. He's a catalyst for saving lives.

"As heart failure is going up in an aging population, we started the first inpatient heart-failure treatment clinic in Cincinnati in 1995. It's now nationally known, the Carl and Edyth Lindner Center for Heart Failure Treatment."

At Christ Hospital alone he has quietly financed some of the region's most impressive medical advances.

Contact: Christ Hospital CEO Susan Croushore: 513-585-1139

Parade Route, Continued

  • Left on Taft / Calhoun Street
  • Right on Clifton Avenue
  • 9:45 am Right on Martin Luther King Drive - looping onto campus passing UC's Carl H. Lindner College of Business

13. Hughes High School and the University of Cincinnati

In 1934, at the age of 15, Mr. Lindner dropped out of school after a couple of months at Deer Park High School, so he could work to help his father deliver milk in the family business. Then, after rising at 3 a.m. to do milk deliveries, he attended classes at West Night High School in Hughes High School, across the street from the University of Cincinnati. He often parked on campus, undoubtedly feeling the distance between those who were fortunate enough to attend college, and those who struggled to finish high school as they worked to support their families.

But in 1985 he received an honorary degree from UC. In 1995, he was the commencement speaker for UC graduation. That was the year he dedicated the Carl H. Lindner Hall at the UC School of Business.

In 2011, the University of Cincinnati expressed its gratitude for all of Mr. Lindner's contributions over the years by naming its business school the Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

In that speech, he told the students his four secrets of success: perseverance, a sense of humor, sharing with others and imagination. "One of these secrets was taught to me by my father," he said, "and that was to share, and be nice to others. Success will come to those who respond and work hard, but greater success will come to those who foresee and anticipate change. Those with that sort of imagination will create opportunities before others even know they exist."

A few years later, he put that philosophy in action by founding the Carl H. Lindner Honors Plus program, designed to keep the brightest students from leaving Cincinnati by giving them a full-ride scholarship.

Norm Baker was Provost at the time. "We really wanted to name it after Mr. Lindner, but that was not something he wanted," Baker said. "He wanted to know, 'How does it help to have my name on it?' We really had to convince him. And it has really helped. It gives us instant credibility."

Today the Honors Plus program in the Carl H. Lindner School of Business sends 70 percent of its highly sought-after graduates to Cincinnati-based businesses. Baker said, "Many of the business lessons we pass on to students come from Carl. The way they become leaders, on campus and in the community: The number of student body presidents, homecoming kings and queens and representatives to the UC Board of Trustees. You would find our student involvement all through the community. What Carl stood for, giving back to the community, is an important part of our program.

In addition, recently he and his family made possible the Lindner Center of Hope, the premier mental health center in Cincinnati that treats 30,000 patients each year. The Lindner Center of Hope is working with UC Health in this endeavor.

"He does so much for this community that the public is completely unaware of. He is building business leaders to stay in Cincinnati and continue to build the city. That will last far beyond any one of us."

Contact: Dean David Szymanski: 513-556-7001

Parade Route, Continued

  • Right on Martin Luther King Drive
  • 9:50 am Left on Reading Road - Passing Temple Bible College

14. Temple Bible College

The Rev. Calvin Harper, pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church and founder of Temple Bible Seminary, said, "I met Mr. Lindner in 2006. It was unusual. He came looking for us. He had heard about this Bible college where none of the officers or teachers received any compensation and students were able to come in at a minimal amount.

"Mr. Lindner said he had heard about us. That was very impressive to me. I was so pleasantly surprised. As a result of our meeting, Mr. Lindner gave us a gift of $3 million to Temple Bible Seminary. It was unbelievable. We still talk about it and give God thanks for that.

"And that wasn't all. He also gave a substantial check to every person and administrator on the staff. He had us come out to his office where he would distribute the checks. It was $24,000 for each of us. That was the amount he could give under the gift-tax rules.

"There were people shouting and crying in that conference room. There were a lot of prayers. We prayed for Mr. Lindner's health and for his life and we still pray for him. He took the initiative. There was no way I would ever ask, and no way I would ever ask for that much.

"He never asked us for anything. No strings attached. Not one time. He just encouraged us to stay involved in the community and do positive things, like our GED program. He learned from the ground up. And I think that's why he had empathy for us."

Parade Route, Continued

  • Left on Hickman
  • Left on Harvey
  • Right on Martin Luther King
  • 9:55 am Right on Burnett Avenue - passing Shriners Hospital and Cincinnati Children's Medical Center

15. Shriners Burns Hospital and Children's Hospital Medical Center

Mr. and Mrs. Lindner have been generous supporters of Shriners Burns Hospital over many years. He also has given substantial financial support to Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Parade Route, Continued

  • Turn right on Forrest Avenue
  • Left on Reading Road
  • 10:02 am Turn right on Dana Avenue - passing Xavier University

16. Xavier University

The Carl Lindner Physics Building is one visible part of the support Mr. Lindner has given to Xavier University, to demonstrate his commitment to education. He received an honorary degree from Xavier, and often told students that he especially appreciated the value of a good education because he did not have a chance to go to college or finish high school.

Parade Route, Continued

  • 10:08 am Turn left on Montgomery Road - passing 1st Lindner Ice Cream Shop, UDF Main office

17. The first Lindner Ice Cream Shop and UDF main offices

Mr. Lindner and his father opened their first store on what is now Montgomery Road in Norwood on May 8, 1940. Shortly after the store opened, union milk-truck drivers from a competing dairy came by and roughed up his father. But the family did not back down.

On their first day, sales at the new store were added up by the Lindner family that night. The grand total was $8.48. At 5 cents each, that would equal about 170 ice-cream cones.

During those years Mr. Lindner drove a milk truck to pick up bulk milk from Eustace Dairy in Indian Hill, often on icy roads, with bald tires. He also drove that milk truck on dates, and vowed that someday he would get himself a nice car. Many years later he moved into one of those beautiful homes he used to pass in Indian Hill, and was always known for having nice cars. The vintage milk truck in the parade is an exact replica of the original Lindner Quality Milk Truck used in the first Lindner business. It was restored by Mr. Lindner's late brother Richard Lindner.

At their first stores, Mr. Lindner and his father offered more than a dozen new ice cream flavors and the first triple-dip cones. They were among the first to offer customers "cash and carry" milk in returnable bottles so they could avoid the additional cost of milkman deliveries.

Until the 1960s when he moved into the Provident Bank offices at One East Fourth, Mr. Lindner's office was on the backside of the UDF Main Office on Montgomery Road in Norwood, where he and his brothers would get together to test new flavors. In 1984, People Magazine chose UDF's Homemade Brand Cookies 'N Cream as the No. 1 exotic flavor in the nation, the best among 888 entries from 248 dairies.

By 1958 UDF had 22 stores and expanded its plant to bottle milk and make ice cream. UDF stores were opened in Hamilton, Middletown, Lebanon, Morrow, Northern Kentucky, Dayton, Cleveland and other Ohio cities. By the late 1960s there were 120 stores. Today there are more than 200 owned and operated by Robert Lindner and his family.

But in the early days it was not unusual for Mr. Lindner to stay up late into the night to stuff nickels and dimes into paper rolls to pay the electric bills.

Parade Route, Continued

  • 10:10 am Left on Hopkins - passing Carl and Edyth Lindner Children's Learning Center
  • Right on Allison
  • Right on Wanda
  • 10:13 am Left on Montgomery Road - passing Norwood Administrative Buildings and 10:20 am Olivet Baptist Church

18. Norwood administration buildings

Mr. Lindner never forgot his roots in Norwood. He enjoyed dropping by the Frisch's for lunch, to chat with customers and a favorite waitress. He often drove through Norwood, revisiting his boyhood neighborhood and waving to friends.

Norwood Mayor Tom Williams said, "Right after I took office, I remember one cold February morning I was home and my wife was at church, and I got this call. 'Mr. Williams, I have Carl Lindner on the line. Will you hold?' I couldn't believe it. I got a call from Carl Lindner and nobody was around to hear about it. But it was like a friend down the street had called. He wanted to know if there was anything he could do to help."

Mr. Lindner helped Norwood in many ways, donating computers to its schools, building parks and helping the Norwood Police stay up to date with squad cars and communications equipment. He was the star attraction in the annual Norwood parades in the third week of July each summer.

"Norwood was the best place in the world to grow up. There was just something about that city for Carl Lindner, to feel the way he did," Williams said.

"He would go to Frisch's in Norwood - that was his night on the town when he had time by himself. It was his favorite spot. And he would just talk to people and pick up their checks. How many so-called celebrities do you know of like that? How many people make it really big then go back to a little restaurant and just talk to people?

"The Lindner family worked hard. Nobody ever gave them anything. He and his dad delivered milk in Norwood. He could tell you that 'Mrs. Adams lived over there and paid her bills on time.' Or, 'Mrs. Smith invited me in for hot chocolate.'

"Thanks to him Norwood had UDF and Hunter Savings and Loan. I'd bet he had lots of opportunities to move UDF somewhere else, but out of loyalty to Norwood, it stayed.

"One time I asked him, 'How do you feel when you go home at night, knowing how you have helped people? I'll bet that feels really good.' He said, 'It's what I should do.' That simple. I think he based it on his faith.

"Everyone in Norwood knew who he was. But what some people might miss was his personal touch, his faith and his love of the city. I have a letter framed on my wall. It's signed, 'From your friend, Carl Lindner.' I can say Carl Lindner was my friend."

Contact: Norwood Mayor Tom Williams: 513-458-4501

Parade Route, Continued

  • Continue along Montgomery Road

19. Olivet Baptist Church

Mr. Lindner donated millions of dollars to African American churches in Cincinnati. When several churches were burglarized in Cincinnati, Mr. Lindner sent checks to repair them and replace their losses.

Pastor Aaron Greenlee of Olivet Baptist Church said, "There's a lot of admiration and respect.

"The night I was installed at Olivet, he sent a check to encourage me. Over the years, he put a roof on that church, paid that church off, made it debt free over eight or nine years. They couldn't give me a salary because the money wasn't there, but Mr. Lindner took care of me. I said to the Olivet Congregation, 'Don't ever forget Mr. Lindner. Without him you wouldn't be here.'"

City Councilman and Pastor Charlie Winburn said Mr. Lindner supported his church and also supported him in politics. "He never, not one time, ever asked me to do anything. In fact, the people who didn't give me money were the ones who tried to control me. He never ever asked me to do anything but help other people.

"He was loved in the black community. Because he has done so much to bless the black community, he is one of the good guys. He reaches way down in the community and helps people in need. He helps even the smallest."

Parade Route, Continued

  • Left on Plainfield Road
  • 10:21 am Right on South Avenue - passing 1st house growing up
  • 10:21 am Right on Silverton Avenue - passing 2nd house growing up

20. First house in Cincinnati, 4112 South Street, Silverton

Mr. Lindner was 11 when his family moved to Cincinnati in 1930. Their first home was at 4112 South Street. Built in 1928, it had seven rooms and a garage in back, where the kids kept their pony, "Lindy." The rent was $65 a month.

Then they moved across the street to 4115 South Street, into a smaller six-room house, where the monthly rent was $20 lower - which meant a lot to their struggling family. Both houses are still there.

Years later, Mr. Lindner contributed to make sure a swimming pool in the neighborhood did not have to close, to make sure that kids would have a place to swim in the summertime.

In 1940 the family was doing better after opening their first store. So they moved to 3909 Floral Ave. in Norwood, with nine rooms and more bedrooms for the boys and for Mr. Lindner's sister Dorothy.

Mr. Lindner often drove by the houses, which brought back fond memories of his family during the early years.

Parade Route, Continued

  • 10:24 am Left on Montgomery Road - passing Old Kenwood Mall

21. Kenwood Mall

In 1960, Mr. Lindner began building Kenwood Mall at Kenwood and Montgomery Roads, a few miles north of downtown Cincinnati. It was anchored by Shillito's, a Cincinnati landmark department store that later merged with Lazarus and then became part of the Federated Chain. The new mall was the first of its kind in the region and Ohio, where malls were then described by the New York Times as "weather-controlled shopping centers."

The new Kenwood Mall featured dozens of new stores on 30 acres with 300,000 square feet of shopping, professional office space and an indoor theater.

The excitement in Cincinnati over the grand opening of the new Kenwood Mall was contagious. Crowds jammed the stores and filled the parking lot in a shopping frenzy that rivaled the final days before Christmas. It was a huge success.

Cincinnati commercial real estate developer Manny Mayerson was at the groundbreaking and helped on the Kenwood Mall project. He took on the task of lining up tenants.

"I had to have an anchor and it was very important to get Shillito's. That was THE store in Cincinnati. So Carl invited Fred Lazarus, chairman of Federated, who was very impressed."

Mayerson said, "His organization became like a big family. He was a different kind of character than I had ever met. He would leave a meeting, no matter how important, if his kids had a meet or game or something. And he cared about his subordinates and made them feel big."

Parade Route, Continued

  • 10:27 am Left on Kenwood Road - passing Trio Restaurant

22. Trio Restaurant

One of Mr. Lindner's favorite places for lunch or dinner was Trio Restaurant on Montgomery Road. He could often be seen having lunch there on the weekends with his brothers and sister and other family members. Through all the years they stayed close and got together regularly. During lunches, Mr. Lindner would sometimes be approached by people who recognized him and wanted to thank him for a contribution or institution that he supported that touched their lives. "That's my paycheck," he would say with a smile.

10:30 am Parade Concludes

About American Financial Group, Inc.

American Financial Group is an insurance holding company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio with assets in excess of $30 billion. Through the operations of Great American Insurance Group, AFG is engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance, focusing on specialized commercial products for businesses, and in the sale of traditional fixed and indexed annuities and a variety of supplemental insurance products, such as Medicare Supplement. Great American Insurance Group's roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company.

SOURCE: American Financial Group, Inc.

American Financial Group, Inc.
Diane P. Weidner, Asst. Vice President - Investor Relations, 513-369-5713
or
Web Sites:
http://www.AFGinc.com
http://www.GreatAmericanInsuranceGroup.com
http://www.GAFRI.com

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