Richard DeVos, the billionaire founder of Amway and the owner of the Orlando Magic professional basketball team is dead.
DeVos, a major contributor to several conservative candidates died on the 6th of September at his home in Ada, Mich at the age of 92. Amway, one of the world’s largest home products sales companies, announced Mr. DeVos’s death, saying the cause was complications from an infection. The late tycoon received a heart transplant in 1997.
DeVos was the father-in-law of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. He co-founded Amway in 1959 along with his close friend Jay Van Andel and built the private company into a billion-dollar company by 1980. Amway sells everything from cleaning products, cosmetics, jewelry and kitchen appliances. DeVos had once told reporters that he and his partner, Andel, had decided to call the company ‘Amway’, “because the American way of private ownership and free enterprise is the best way.”
While Van Andel served as Amway’s chairman for many years, Richard DeVos served as the company’s president and was the company’s public face. He was famous for invoking the conservative values that guided his personal and professional life during revival-style meetings of his company’s distributors.
Devos lived flamboyantly – as a billionaire should. He was often chauffeured in a green Rolls-Royce, and he maintained a fleet of corporate jets. He also often traveled the world on a huge yacht. He often flaunted his wealth to inspire his international army of distributors, which Amway claims exceed 1 million people.