Dame Anita Roddick dies at 64

Tributes pour in for the much-loved Body Shop founder

The Body Shop founder and human rights campaigner Dame Anita Roddick died last night, at the age of 64.

Widely regarded as one of the UK’s most accomplished and inspirational entrepreneurs, Dame Anita suffered a brain haemorrhage at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, West Sussex, at 6.30pm yesterday.

Throughout her career, she campaigned tirelessly for fair trade in the developing world, human rights and environmental issues, all values which her business firmly stood for.

Dame Anita started The Body Shop as a small, ethical boutique store in Brighton in 1976, but her passion and commitment to its values propelled it into one of the world’s best-known brands, synonymous with ethical trading, and in particular for its refusal to test products on animals.

Since selling the business to L’Oreal for £652m last year, Dame Anita has continued to champion a number of good causes, as well as becoming an ambassador for social enterprise and supporting a number of charities such as Amnesty International, HIV/AIDS charity Body and Soul and, more recently, the Hepatitis C Trust.

Earlier this year, Dame Anita revealed that she had contracted Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion given during the birth of her youngest daughter Sam in 1971. It is unknown if the cause of her death is connected.

Commenting on the news, Adrian Bellamy, chairman of The Body Shop, said: “All of us in The Body Shop family are deeply shocked and saddened to hear the news about Anita’s passing away.

“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 organisations like Children on the Edge.

“It is no exaggeration to say that she changed the world of business with her campaigns for social and environmental responsibility.”

Prime minister Gordon Brown is among many high-profile figures to pay his respects to Dame Anita, naming her as ‘one of the country’s true pioneers’.

The inspirational entrepreneur has already received a stream of tributes in a dedicated forum on The Body Shop’s site – a testament to the tremendous impact her life’s work has had. To add yours, visit www.thebodyshop.co.uk

 © Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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