Amway co-founder Richard DeVos has passed way at the age of 92. The billionaire philanthropist died at his home in Ada, Michigan, near Amway’s headquarters. According to DeVos family spokesman Nick Wasmiller, the cause of death was due to complications from an infection.
DeVos and his friend Jay Van Andel got into the network marketing business in 1949 when they invested $49 to become distributors for Nutrilite, a manufacturer and direct seller of vitamins. Ten years later, they founded Amway—short for “American Way.” The company’s first product was an all-purpose cleaner, L.O.C. In 1972, DeVos and Van Andel purchased Nutrilite.
DeVos was president of Amway from its founding in 1959 until his retirement in 1993. His son, Doug DeVos, has served as president of the company since 2002. The DeVos family, which still co-owns Amway with Jay Van Andel’s family, has a combined fortune of $5.5 billion according to Forbes‘ list of richest people.
Devos was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on March 4, 1926. He was a philanthropist along with his late wife, Helen, who passed away last year. He was also the owner of the Orlando Magic basketball team and the father-in-law of Betsy DeVos, the current US Secretary of Education.
The DeVos family statement read: “Dad spread positivity everywhere he went and encouraged everyone he met. He did that for his children and grandchildren, and for countless others around the world. His positivity was a constant, motivating force that inspired many others to make meaningful changes in their own lives and communities. He was a visionary leader, builder, life enricher, motivator and a champion for people from all walks of life. We are deeply grateful and blessed beyond measure to have been loved unconditionally, raised, mentored, and inspired by him. He was a role model unlike any other. While we are saddened by his passing, our hearts are full as we celebrate the extraordinary life he led. We are comforted that he is reunited with Mom, and that together they are experiencing the joy of eternal life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
At this time no funeral or public memorial arrangements have been announced.