MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — Real estate, hotel and outdoor advertising magnate Dean White has died at age 93.

White Lodging, a Merrillville-based hospitality company founded by White’s son, Bruce, said in a statement that White died peacefully Wednesday “surrounded by family.”

The World War II veteran joined his father’s billboard company in 1946 and turned it into “a real estate and hotel empire” with holdings nationwide, according to an obituary posted by The Pruzin & Little Funeral Home in Crown Point that’s handling White’s arrangements.

Forbes magazine says White, who was one of Indiana’s wealthiest residents, sold Whiteco Industries to Chancellor Media Corp for $960 million in 1998 and had a net worth of $2.5 billion at the time of his death.

White’s survivors include his wife of 70 years, Barbara, and four children.