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Tyrone Thomas, a Citigroup loan sales head, dies at 42

[NEW YORK] Tyrone Thomas, Citigroup Inc.'s head of North American loan sales and a 15-year veteran at the bank, has died. He was 42.

Thomas had been battling brain cancer, according to a memo sent to the investment bank's staff on Tuesday. He had joined the firm's associate training program in 2003 after receiving an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. He became the region's head of loan sales in 2013.

"Tyrone was loved by his colleagues, friends and clients because of his strong character, engaging personality and infectious laugh," Mickey Bhatia and Joe Geraci, who oversee his unit, wrote in the memo. "He always put others first and approached adversity with determination and grace. We will miss his presence, his warmth and his huge smile."

Thomas was a founding member of Citigroup's underrepresented minority senior advisory committee, which works to recruit and retain diverse talent at the bank. He received a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1998, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to attending business school, he was an auditor at Ernst & Young.

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"The highlights in my career and life in general are those moments where I was able to facilitate positive change," Thomas said in an undated interview with Fuqua's Black and Latino MBA Organization. "I think the most important qualities to develop are the ability to listen, show courage, and stay prepared."

He is survived by his wife, Tulani, and two children, Tahir and Niara.