NEW YORK – F. Ross Johnson, the former RJR Nabisco CEO depicted as the epitome of corporate greed in the bestselling book and movie "Barbarians at the Gate," has died. He was 85.
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The Aycock-Riverside Funeral and Cremation Center in Jupiter, Florida, said Johnson died Thursday.
Johnson became CEO of RJR Nabisco in 1986, a consumer goods giant making both Oreo cookies and Camel cigarettes.
In October 1988, Johnson and a group of investors proposed taking Atlanta-based RJR Nabisco private, which started a month-long fierce bidding war. The private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts eventually won the bidding war, paying nearly $25 billion for RJR Nabisco.
The bidding war, as well as Johnson's notoriously opulent lifestyle, was later dramatized in the bestselling book "Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco."