Walter Royal Davis, a Pasquotank County farmer's son who became a Texas oil tycoon and returned to North Carolina as a philanthropist and an influential figure in politics and higher education, died Monday night at his home in Chapel Hill.
He was 88, Bruce Siceloff reports.
Davis was a major benefactor and supporter of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a trustee for 16 years, including two years as chairman of the board.
He donated money for scholarships and fought to claim $32 million from the state legislature from the sale of university utilities. Part of that money went to the construction of the university's high-rise Walter R. Davis Library, which opened in 1984.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.