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Former CEO of Duke Energy, a Danville grad, dies

James “Jim” Eugene Rogers Jr.,  former CEO of Duke Energy and named one of Newsweek’s 50 most powerful people in the world has died. He was 71.

Rogers was born Sept. 20, 1947, in Birmingham, Alabama, to Mr. and Mrs. James E. Rogers and moved with his family to Danville when he was a child. Rogers had been living in North Carolina and was visiting family in Louisville when in died in a hospital due to sepsis on Dec. 17, 2018, according to family members.

Advocate-Messenger archives stated that Rogers had been a member of Boy Scout Troop 198 in 1959 and graduated from Danville High School in 1965.

According to a news story about Rogers’ death in the Courier Journal, “Rogers became CEO of Charlotte-based Duke Energy in 2006, following its merger with Cincinnati’s Cinergy Corp. Under Rogers, Duke Energy became the country’s largest electric utility through a series of takeovers. But a controversial 2012 takeover of Progress Energy ultimately led to his exit.”

Current Duke CEO Lynn Good released a statement on Rogers’ death, saying, “He was not afraid to tackle the hard questions with a personable style that brought people together for positive solutions.”

Ralph Cavanah, co-director of the Natural Resources Defense Council climate and clean energy program said, “Jim will be remembered for all he did to convert America’s electricity sector into an essential clean energy partner.”

After retiring from Duke Energy in 2013, Rogers concentrated on how rural people living in low-income nations could gain access to clean, sustainable energy, according to a story in The New York Times. “In 2015 he published ‘Lighting the World,’ a book that explored this topic, advocating for sustainable energy development for parts of the world that remain without electricity.”