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Cerner's Neal Patterson Remembered For Legacy In Business And Soccer

Big names in Kansas City, from city officials to  Major League Soccer stars, took to Twitter Sunday to mourn the loss of Neal Patterson.

Patterson was the CEO and Chairman of Cerner and the co-owner of Sporting Kansas City. He co-founded Cerner 38 years ago and it has grown to become the largest private employer in the metro area. 

Patterson died a day after another prominent Kansas City businessman, James B. Nutter, founder of the mortgage-lending company that bears his name. Both were remembered for their contributions to the growth of Kansas City. 

For many, Patterson's contributions to Kansas City extends beyond business, tied primarily to his ownership of the Sporting KC soccer franchise, which he purchased as part of a group of investors in 2006. Current and former Sporting KC players highlighted his role as co-owner, crediting much of the team's success to Patterson. 

"[Patterson's] commitment to the Kansas City Wizards in 2006 saved soccer in this city and paved the way for an incredible transformation that few could have envisioned at the time," Sporting Kansas City President, Jake Reid said. 

Colleagues and competitors throughout the MLS made similar statements. 

"Neal's vision and passion were instrumental in the incredible turnaround of Sporting Kansas City," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "He was a brilliant entrepreneur who made community relations and philanthropy essential components of every business he owned."

Katie Bernard is KCUR's morning news intern. 

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