Leo Linbeck, Jr., a longtime Texas corporate titan, philanthropist and Fair Tax advocate, died early this morning following a long illness.

"The American people have lost a giant who championed simple and fair taxation for everyone," said Cynthia T. Canevaro, national campaign manager for Americans for the Fair Tax. "Leo Linbeck, Jr., has devoted 20+ years passionately advocating for fair and transparent federal taxation for all citizens regardless of income or social standing.

"He was committed to replacing the income tax, a system that favors special interests while punishing taxpayers at every level, with a national consumption tax that taxes citizens not on what they earn, but on what they spend on new goods and services."

Linbeck's Fair Tax plan includes repeal of the 16th Amendment and elimination of the IRS.

Linbeck was a nationally known Houston businessman and philanthropist, Canevaro said in a statement. He was a longtime Chairman of Linbeck Construction Corp., a firm founded by his father in 1938 and ranked in 2012 by ENR as the sixth largest building contractor in the U.S. specializing in general building construction for the private sector. At the time of his death, he also served as Chairman of Aquinas Corporation, a holding company for the Linbeck Group.

Mark Tapscott is executive editor of The Washington Examiner.