Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

December 08, 2004

Jay Van Andel, 80, the co-founder of Amway Corp. who helped parlay neighborhood soap sales into a billion-dollar business and later became a leading philanthropist for conservative causes, died of heart failure yesterday in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Mr. Van Andel and Richard DeVos started selling diet supplements in the 1950s and coined the name Amway, an abbreviation of "American Way," in 1959, when they expanded into household cleaning products.

Amway made its fortune by relying on a worldwide network of independent, mom-and-pop distributors.

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