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27 Jun, 2022 14:54

Ray-Ban mogul who went from orphan to billionaire dies

Leonardo del Vecchio made his fortune by turning an optics workshop into the world’s largest eyewear conglomerate
Ray-Ban mogul who went from orphan to billionaire dies

Italian billionaire Leonardo del Vecchio, the largest shareholder and head of the EssilorLuxottica holding, which owns, among other brands, eyewear manufacturer Ray-Ban, has died at the age of 87, his company announced on Monday.

EssilorLuxottica sadly announces today that its Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio has passed away. The Company expresses its deepest condolences to the Family and to the global employee community for this enormous loss,” the company said in a press release.

Del Vecchio was raised in an orphanage in Milan and started his business as a small supplier of parts for eyeglass frames. He established Luxottica in 1961 with only a dozen employees and nurtured the company all the way to becoming Italy’s largest eyewear manufacturer, and then, after a 2018 merger with French lens maker Essilor, the largest eyewear conglomerate in the world.

EssilorLuxottica employs some 180,000 people and owns iconic brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley. Del Vecchio’s controlling 32% stake in the company made him the second-richest man in Italy with an estimated fortune of $24.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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