Edward T. Holland, founder and former chairman of First Virginia Banks Inc., died last week of cardiac arrest. He was 97.

Mr. Holland, a civil engineer by training, began his banking career with Old Dominion Bank.

He merged the bank with an insurance company in 1949 to create Arlington-based First Virginia, the state's first bank holding company.

He retired from First Virginia in 1974 but remained active in the community and was named to the Washington Business Hall of Fame in 1994.

"E.T. liked to say he started out with the smallest bank in the smallest county in Virginia, but the company he created is now the oldest and largest banking organization headquartered in the state," said Barry J. Fitzpatrick, First Virginia's current chairman, president, and chief executive officer.

First Virginia, with $9.5 billion of assets, operates 10 banks with 393 branches in Virginia, Maryland, and Tennessee.

-- Louis Whiteman

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