Ray-Ban billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio, the Italian entrepreneur who was raised in an orphanage in war-torn Milan and ended up the undisputed world leader in eyewear, has died. He was 87.
Del Vecchio, whose father died five months before he was born, was taken in by the city’s orphanage at the age of 7 after a desperate plea from his mother. He was allowed to leave early — at just 14 years old — to start working.
Over the following seven decades he built a $25.7 billion fortune through his company, EssilorLuxottica, which owns iconic eyewear brands including Ray-Ban and Oakley. Tap the link in our bio to read his story.
What is Ray-Ban
Ray-Ban is an American-Italian brand of luxury sunglasses and eyeglasses created in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb. The brand is known for its Wayfarer and Aviator lines of sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian eyewear conglomerate, Luxottica Group, for a reported US $640 million.
Most Popular Sun Glasses of Ray-ban
Ray-Ban’s most popular sunglasses are the Wayfarer, Erika, and Aviator models. During the 1950s, Ray-Ban released the Echelon (Caravan), which had a squarer frame. In 1965, the Olympian I and II were introduced; they became popular when Peter Fonda wore them in the 1969 film Easy Rider. The company has also produced special edition lines, such as The General in 1987, bearing similarity to the original aviators worn by General Douglas MacArthur during the Second World War. In the 1980s the Ray-Ban Clubmaster was added to the model line. The Clubmaster has a browline frame and went on to become the third best selling sunglasses style of the 1980s, behind the Wayfarer and Aviator.