Petr Kellner was a Czech billionaire who recently passed away following a helicopter accident in Alaska. Kellner’s estimated worth of $17.5 billion made him the wealthiest person in the Czech Republic. Petr started out by selling office supplies after the Czech Republic opened up in the late 1980s.

Together with partners, he formed an investment company known as PPF to participate in the privatization of state-owned companies. PPF bought a stake in the country’s largest insurance company before expanding to finance, manufacturing, and telecommunications. Due to the PPF’s activities in foreign territories, Petr had become a key figure in Czech Republic’s international relations.

Despite being the richest person in the Czech Republic, Petr kept his family life hidden from the public

Petr Kellner’s first marriage to Iva Kellnerova ended in divorce. He went on to marry Renata Kellnerova, with whom he shared four children. One of the couple’s children, Anna Kellnerova, is a champion equestrian.

Kellner endeavored to keep his family life away from the public. According to a statement released by PPF, Petr will leave the world as he lived – surrounded by his family. The company stated that the funeral will be a family affair:

“Petr Kellner was 56 years old. His professional life was known for his incredible work ethic and creativity, but his private life belonged to his family. His funeral will be held with only close family members. We please ask the media to respect the privacy of the Kellner family during this difficult time.”

Petr and his wife launched The Kellner Family Foundation to help educate kids from disadvantaged backgrounds

Petr and Renata formed the Educa foundation in 2002. Renata served as chairperson of the Foundation, which provided grants to grammar school students. In 2009, the couple launched the Kellner Family Foundation, and two years later, merged it with the Educa Foundation.

The Kellner Family Foundation sponsors socially disadvantaged students through grammar school and university. It also funds teachers and principals to improve their qualifications, and in turn, improve the quality of education offered in public schools. The Foundation also funds select research projects in the Czech Republic. Part of the Foundation’s mission statement reads:

“Grants where intended for luminaries acclaimed by International scientific circles, and also for talents who are just starting their careers in research, including fresh graduates in medicine and life science who wish to gain experience at prestigious institutions. All of our projects have a common goal: motivating those who have the talents it takes to achieve greater heights.”