RJ Corman, entrepreneur and UK benefactor, dies at 58

By Amelia Orwick | @KyKernel

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R.J. “Rick” Corman, founder of the R.J. Corman Railroad Group and benefactor to the University of Kentucky, died at his home in Nicholasville around 11 a.m. on Friday.

The 58-year-old was known for his generosity in the Lexington community, particularly within the UK Athletics program.

UK men’s basketball head coach John Calipari shared his thoughts about Corman’s death in a post on his website Friday. Corman was the first person he met after accepting the position at UK.

“Rick was one of the absolute smartest and most humble people that I have ever met in my life. I’m going to miss him dearly,” Calipari said in the post. “He knows now that I love him, that I’m going to miss him and that I’m going to pray for him every day.”

Most recently, Corman hosted head football coach Mark Stoops as he arrived to Corman’s airplane hangar shortly after being hired.

In 2001, Corman was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is “a cancer of your plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in your bone marrow,” according to the Mayo Clinic website.

Corman had been suffering for the past few weeks, according to the R.J. Corman Railroad Group website.

On Thursday, a post on the website thanked people for their concern: “Mr. Corman’s condition is serious, so we are asking for prayers for him and his family. That is all the information we have to share, but we will post any updates here as they become available.”

The company’s services include construction, equipment rental, material sales and shortline railroads. Corman also launched My Old Kentucky Dinner Train, which operates in both Bardstown and Lexington.