Body Shop Founder Anita Roddick Dies

Founded Natural-Products Beauty Empire in 1976

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CHICAGO ( -- The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, who guided a single natural-products store into a 2,100-store retail empire now owned by L'Oreal, died after a brain hemorrhage yesterday. She was 64.
Anita Roddick
Anita Roddick Credit: Newscom

"All of us in The Body Shop family are deeply shocked and saddened to hear the news about Anita's passing away," Adrian Bellamy, chairman of the company, said in a statement. "Anita was not only our founder but she was also the heart and passion of The Body Shop and with her we achieved so much, whether on animal rights, human rights, Community Trade, or through the founding of organizations like Children on the Edge."

Opened first shop at 33
Ms. Roddick started the Body Shop in 1976 at age 33 with the idea of promoting natural beauty products that eschew animal testing. She opened her first shop in Brighton, England. The business model stood out quickly, as Ms. Roddick emphasized her natural ingredients, often sourced from the developing world at a fair price.

Now with stores in 55 countries, The Body Shop is owned by L'Oreal but run as a separate business. While the Body Shop was sold several times, Ms. Roddick remained involved in product development and charitable efforts. She was made a Dame in 2003.

Also deeply devoted to charitable causes, Ms. Roddick was an early proponent of AIDS research, and campaigned for the environment and human rights, and against animal testing and violence toward women, among many other causes.

"It is no exaggeration to say that she changed the world of business with her campaigns for social and environmental responsibility," Mr. Bellamy said. "But for everyone who knew Anita, it was about much more than that: you couldn't help but be inspired by her love of life, her vision of the world and her passion for changing it."
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