Detroit businessman Barden dies after long illness

By the Associated Press | May 19, 2011 | 10:13 AM EDT

DETROIT (AP) — A spokeswoman for the Detroit mayor says prominent businessman Don Barden has died.

Karen Dumas said Thursday that Mayor Dave Bing was informed of Barden's death and expressed his condolences to the family. She had no other details but says Barden had been sick for a few years.

Barden had a variety of business interests, including casinos, cable TV and real estate. Earlier this year, his wife went to court in a dispute over his ability to manage his assets.

Barden grew up in Inkster, near Detroit. He dropped out of college in Ohio but stayed in Lorain, Ohio, working a series of jobs before opening a record shop at age 22. Barden started a weekly newspaper, bought real estate and became a member of the Lorain City Council.