J.R. Ridinger, founder of Market America, passed away suddenly on August 30.
Ridinger launched Market America in 1992, an online retailer that now employs more than 800 people around the world and has generated more than $7.3 billion in retail sales. Market America recently held an international event to celebrate their 39th anniversary. Ridinger was a visionary and a trailblazer for over three decades.
More than his business acumen, Ridinger was a friend and mentor to many, including celebrities like former Chicago Bulls player Scottie Pippen who posted a memorial on Instagram that read: “We lost a good one with the passing of my friend @jrridinger. JR was so helpful and supportive when I began my life after basketball, giving me valuable advice and teaching me how to become an entrepreneur. He touched a lot of lives and will be greatly missed.”
Many other celebrities have expressed support online as well, including Khloe Kardashian, who commented on the company’s post with broken heart emojis and “Devasted” and Victoria Beckham, who reposted an image of J.R. with wife Loren and a caption that read “We love you, Loren.”
Ridinger is survived by his wife Loren, daughters Amber and Amanda, his brothers Marc and Steve, his sister Brandi, his son-in-law Duane and grandchildren Ayden, Ayva and Aydrien.
In a statement on Market America’s Twitter account, the company said: “Market America has lost its great visionary, and the world has lost a passionate human being who believed in other people even more than they believed in themselves.”
J.R.’s wife Loren Ridinger expressed her grief on social media with a picture from their wedding and the caption: “I am shattered in every way possible. There is no love like our love. Please pray for me and my family. I love you @jrridinger for the rest of my life and beyond. It will only be you. 33 years of love together on this earth.”
Long-time friends and celebrities replied to Loren with words of encouragement, including Hailey Bieber, Ashanti, Tracy Anderson and Jamie Foxx. Serena Williams wrote, “I am shattered as well for you and with you.”
Direct Selling News Founder and CEO Stuart Johnson shared his thoughts, “I’ve known JR since I was 16 years old. He’s been a partner, mentor, inspiration and—most importantly—dear friend for over 40 years. This is a huge loss, not just for the channel but for all the people in it who looked to JR for guidance and wisdom. The DSN family mourns along with Loren and the rest of the Market America team.”
Pointing to the future, Market America stated: “J.R. leaves behind a company that only he could have created, and his entrepreneurial spirit will forever be the foundation of Market America. J.R. always positioned and empowered his team to carry on into the future as he instilled belief in us and encouraged us to keep growing. The company is forever strong because of the belief and passion J.R. instilled in all of us. The foundation he built has prepared us to continue to carry his dream forward for generations to come.”