Late Cerner CEO Patterson draws tributes from many corners of social media

Neal Patterson, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Cerner Corp., was remembered by business contemporaries, mentees and prominent Kansas City organizations on social media after the 67-year-old died Sunday due to complications from cancer.

Patterson helped start Cerner, a North Kansas City-based company that specializes in health care information technology, in 1979. The company grew exponentially as hospitals began requiring that all patient records be digitized, in compliance with federal law.

Fellow business leaders were some of the more prominent voices to remember Patterson’s life.

Patterson grew up on a farm in Oklahoma and went on to get his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University.

He started Cerner with Clifford Illig and Paul Gorup, who he’d met while working for Arthur Andersen. The business made him a billionaire, with Patterson’s personal net worth estimated at $1.5 billion as of March, according to Forbes.

Some Twitter users said that Patterson had played a big role in shaping their professional development, and that they respected his business mindset.

Others marveled at Patterson’s life trajectory.

Patterson was co-owner of Kansas City’s MLS team, Sporting Kansas City. The ownership group purchased the team from Lamar Hunt in 2006 and is widely credited with helping revitalize professional soccer in the city.

The club’s official Twitter account, as well as many fan accounts, voiced their appreciation for Patterson.

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