DANBURY — Americo S. Ventura, the founder of Ventura Law and a well-known businessman in the city, died on Friday morning after a short illness at Danbury Hospital. He was 89 years old.

“Mr. Ventura is one of the icons of our community and really beloved by everybody far and wide,” Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said. “He was just well respected and someone that I really valued as a friend and our community is very upset.

“It’s a great loss for Danbury,” Boughton added.

Ventura — known affectionately as Mr. V at his firm — began practicing law in 1957, when he founded the business, according to a statement from Ventura Law on Friday.

Last year, the firm changed its name to Ventura Law from Ventura, Ribeiro and Smith to honor its founder.

The son of Portuguese immigrants, Ventura was a United States Army veteran and former chief prosecutor in the city of Danbury.

“Mr. Ventura was an iconic figure in the legal community and in the city of Danbury and served our community with vigor for over 60 years,” said Augie Ribeiro, CEO of Ventura Law.

“He loved to counsel families and navigate them through the challenges of the law,” Ribeiro said. “He also served as a role model and mentor to thousands of people who wanted a better life for their children. He was, until his last days, a fighter for the causes and people he believed in.”

Ventura was proud of his role in bringing diversity to the local bar and to the law firm. He had partnered with Dianne Andersen, the first female lawyer in Danbury in 1957, and hired Danbury’s first African American attorney, Connecticut Court of Appeals Judge Thomas G. West, according to the firm’s statement.

Ventura was recently honored for 60 years of service to the legal community by the Danbury Bar Association and received numerous recognitions and proclamations from the city of Danbury and the U.S. Senate for his pro bono and community service.

“What really made him tick was helping other people,” said Ventura’s daughter, Leslie Ahari. “The fact that he would never retire was because he wanted to be out there working with the people he loved and knew.”

A wake will be held on Tuesday, 5 to 9 p.m., at Green Funeral Home. The funeral mass will take place on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. Burial will follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery.