John Stafford, the chief executive officer of American Home Products Corp. who sold units to focus on pharmaceuticals and made three attempts to merge before changing the company’s name to Wyeth, has died. He was 76.

He died on April 18 at his home in Essex Fells, New Jersey, where he had lived since 1976, Carolyn Stafford Stein, his daughter, said today in a telephone interview. The cause of death was prostate cancer.

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