Too Much Spending, Giving Force Osborne Family To Auction Assets

by George Waldon  on Monday, May. 14, 2012 12:00 am  

The Osborne family?s Little Rock home is among the assets scheduled for sale next month. (Photo by Zac Lehr)

That risk-taking confidence inspired Osborne to re-enter the medical testing business and leverage his family's assets to come up with the startup capital.

"In order to do that, he took out some major loans, and he wanted to keep giving," Breezy said.

The downward financial spiral was hastened by Osborne maintaining his generous level of philanthropy while investing cash in a new business that wasn't coming out of the gates quickly.

His shaky health only complicated the launch of Osborne Research Center.

"It was a big combination of starting off slower than anticipated and he was getting sicker," Breezy said. "He knew it, but he thought he could maintain it."

A diagnosed diabetic since 1988 who had already had one heart surgery in 1996, Osborne suffered a heart attack in 2010 while mowing in the summer heat.

He checked into Baptist Medical Center for aortic valve replacement surgery on April 18, 2011, and remained there until his death 100 days later. The extended stay with intensive care treatment further taxed his family resources.

"There are some medical bills that have definitely not helped the cause," Breezy said. "There are some hefty bills. I can put it that way."

She said it was hard for her dad to concede there would be no more time extensions for him to make things right until very near the end.

His considerable will was spent, and his wife and daughter were there to reassure him it was OK.

"The only time he has given up on anything is when he admitted he was exhausted and just couldn't go on any more," Breezy said. "He couldn't tell Mom and me that he was ready to go. He had the nurses tell us."

Adding impetus to restart his medical testing business came from $6 million in lost performance-based payouts to the Osbornes after they sold Arkansas Research Medical Testing to a group of local investors led by Warren Stephens.



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