Mark R. Hughes

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This article is about the businessman and founder of Herbalife. For other people with the same name, see Mark Hughes (disambiguation)
Mark Reynolds Hughes
M R. Hughes.jpg
Born (1956-01-01)January 1, 1956
La Mirada, California
Died May 21, 2000(2000-05-21) (aged 44)
Ethnicity White
Known for Founding Herbalife
Spouse(s) Kathryn Whiting (div.)
Angela Mack (m. 1984, div.)
Suzan Schroder (m. Sep-1987, div. 1998, 1 son)
Darcy LaPier (m. 1999)
Parents Stuard Hartman
Jack Reynolds (per Herbalife)
Jo Ann Hughes (d. 27-Apr-1975, overdose)

Mark Reynolds Hughes (January 1, 1956 – May 21, 2000) was an American businessman who was the founder, chairman and CEO of Herbalife International Ltd.

Early life[edit]

Mark was born in La Mirada, California to father Stuard Hartman (not "Stuart", per birth certificate) and mother Jo Ann Hughes (d. April, 27 1975). Kirk Hartman lives in Los Angeles, California. Both of Mark's brothers worked for Herbalife for many years prior to Mark's death.


In February 1980, aged 24, Hughes founded Los Angeles-based Herbalife International. It has since become one of the world's largest distributors of herbal products through multi-level marketing, with sales of about $3.5 billion in 2007 and 2.1 million Independent Distributors. Now in 91 countries and achieving record retail sales of $7.5 billion in 2013 according to company statements.

In 1994, Mark and Suzan Hughes started the Herbalife Family Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping children. The Herbalife Family Foundation and its sister organization, the International Herbalife Family Foundation, have donated more than $5 million to children's causes worldwide. Created in 1994 by Herbalife Founder Mark Hughes, Herbalife Family Foundation (HFF) creates partnerships with charities to help meet the nutritional needs of children at risk. At the same time, HFF is there to provide funds to organizations assisting victims of natural disasters. HFF is a global non-profit organization working in communities around the world. In 2007 the Herbalife Family Foundation established the HFF Humanitarian Award to recognize Herbalife Independent Distributors who exemplify the foundation’s mission and, through their outstanding involvement and dedication, have made a significant contribution to changing lives though community service. The honoree is announced at the Herbalife Honors event.

Hughes often stated that his mother died of an accidental overdose of prescription diet pills when he was 18, which he claimed was the impetus for the founding of Herbalife.


On the night of Saturday, May 20, 2000, Hughes celebrated the 87th birthday of his maternal grandmother, Hazel (known as Mimi). It was a private gathering, with a few family members joining him at his mansion in Malibu for the evening. Out of the public limelight, Hughes drank white wine, smoked a cigar and played his drum set.

In the preceding months, Hughes had striven to support his company and his distributors. Simultaneously, he was trying to buy up all outstanding shares of Herbalife and take the company private once more. The stress and long hours had taken a toll on his health; he was recovering from a recurrence of pneumonia. The treatment involved corticosteroids, which made sleeping difficult. His physician prescribed the drug doxepin, a tricyclic antidepressant, for the insomnia.

On June 7, 2000, authorities said that Mark Hughes died of an accidental overdose after mixing alcohol with a "toxic level" of antidepressants. Scott Carrier, of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, said final autopsy results found that Hughes, 44, had high levels of both alcohol and an antidepressant in his blood.[1]

Before his marriage to LaPier, Hughes was married to Suzan Hughes for 10 years. Suzan is the mother to their only son, Alexander.

Following Mark Hughes' death, his attorney, Conrad Klein, assumed control of all Hughes' ventures including Herbalife, The Herbalife Family Foundation and The Mark Hughes Trust.

In 2006, The Los Angeles Superior Court suggested the potential removal of the Custodian of The Mark Hughes Trust, Jack Reynolds, for the possibility that he may have ceded control of $40,000,000 to Conrad Klein.[2]


External links[edit]