Amway co-founder Richard DeVos dies at 92

Amway co-founder Richard DeVos Sr., died Thursday at the age of 92 at his home in Ada, Mich., his family said. Photo courtesy

Sept. 6 (UPI) — Amway co-founder Richard DeVos Sr., died Thursday at the age of 92, his family said.

DeVos died peacefully at his home in Ada, Mich., as the result of complications from an infection, according to a news release on his website.

“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,” his family said in a statement.

DeVos was born March 4, 1926, in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School. He later attended Calvin College, and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1944 to 1946.

DeVos and his high school friend Jay Van Andel founded Amway in 1959 and the company eventually grew into a multi-billion dollar direct selling company.

He served as president of the company until 1993 when he was succeeded by his son Dick DeVos and later by another son, Doug DeVos, who acts as co-CEO of the company alongside Jay Van Andel’s son, Steve Van Andel.

“Rich and my father built this company from the ground up, and in many ways Rich was the heart and soul of Amway,” Steve Van Andel said. “No one even comes close to Rich in the love he inspired in the hearts and minds of our family of employees and business owners. We will miss him terribly.”

In 1970, DeVos and his late wife founded the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation which donated funds to other organizations such as the Heritage Foundation. The couple also supported other community projects, such as DeVos Place Convention Center and the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

DeVos was an active contributor to the Republican Party and served as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee in addition to being a member of the Advisory Board for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

In 1991, DeVos purchased the NBA’s Orlando Magic which he owned for the remainder of his life.

“When the DeVos Family purchased the Magic, his vision was that the team and organization would serve as a platform to improve the Central Florida community. That legacy will certainly live on, both in the Orlando Magic’s community efforts and philanthropic contributions, as well as in the way we strive to play the game with passion, a strong work ethic and integrity, while also bringing people together from all walks of life,” Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins said.

DeVos is survived by his children Dick, Dan and Doug and their spouses as well as his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, DeVos’ family requested memorial contributions be made to Grand Rapids Christian School Association, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church, or Prison Fellowship Ministries.


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