Leonardo Del Vecchio Dies at 87; Transformed Eyeglass Industry

He merged eyewear with fashion, turning a quotidian necessity into high style. He rose from poverty to become one of the world’s wealthiest men.

Leonardo Del Vecchio, the Italian multibillionaire who rose from Dickensian poverty to build a globe-straddling behemoth that helped transform the stodgy, fragmented eyeglass industry into a fashion-oriented business, died on Monday in Milan. He was 87.

His death was announced by the company, now called EssilorLuxottica. No cause was given. A company spokeswoman said he had died at San Raffaele Hospital.

Although largely unnoticed outside of the industry, Luxottica, as the company was long known, achieved as much dominance in the low-tech eyeglasses business as Google and Amazon

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