ST. LOUIS — Michael Neidorff, the longtime CEO of Centene, has died after battling a lengthy illness, the company announced Thursday. He was 79.

Neidorff led the St. Louis-based health care corporation for more than 25 years. He took medical leave in February 2022, and vice-chairman Sarah London was appointed CEO the following month.

“Today, the company he built provides healthcare for nearly 1 in 15 vulnerable Americans, and his life’s work has transformed the delivery of care in our country,” London said in a statement.

“On behalf of the 75,000 employees of Centene, I want to express our deepest condolences to Michael’s family and loved ones.  Michael’s passion lives within the women and men of Centene, and his commitment to the mission of transforming the health of America’s most vulnerable citizens lives on.”

Neidorff supported hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including the National Urban League, where he served as a chairman on the board of trustees.

Memorial donations in his name can be sent to the Siteman Cancer Center, the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, or a charity of your choice.