Burt Shavitz

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Burt Shavitz
Burt's Bees Hand Salve, Sep 2012.JPG
Drawing of Shavitz on Burt's Bees product
Ingram Berg Shavitz

(1935-05-15)May 15, 1935
DiedJuly 5, 2015(2015-07-05) (aged 80)
OccupationBeekeeper, businessman, photographer
Known forBurt's Bees

Ingram Berg Shavitz[1] (May 15, 1935 – July 5, 2015) professionally known as Burt Shavitz, was an American beekeeper and businessman notable for founding the Burt's Bees personal care products company with businesswoman Roxanne Quimby.[2] Shavitz's likeness is featured on the Burt's Bees products.

Early life[edit]

Burt Shavitz was born Ingram Shavitz to a Jewish family[3] in Manhattan.[4][5] He was raised in Great Neck, New York,[6] and changed his name in 1953 when he finished high school.[7] He spent time in the Army, and later while living in Manhattan he took photographs, including those of African American Muslim rallies and Bowery drug-dealers,[8] that appeared in Time and Life magazines.[9]

Business Career[edit]

Shavitz eventually settled in Maine, discovered beekeeping as a source of income and met Roxanne Quimby, who would sell his wax candles at local fairs. An increase in sales and production led to them launching Burt's Bees in the 1980s.[10][11] As the partnership and business grew, operations were set up in North Carolina in 1994. Soon thereafter, the partnership between Shavitz and Quimby waned, leading to Quimby buying out Shavitz's stake in the company.[10][12] In 2007, Clorox purchased Burt's Bees for more than $900 million.[13]


A documentary film, Burt's Buzz, was released in 2014. The film discussed the life of Shavitz, his history with Burt's Bees, and his later activities as a beekeeper and businessman.[14][15] Shavitz died on July 5, 2015 at the age of 80 in Bangor, Maine, from respiratory problems.[16][17] He resided in Parkman, Maine.[11]


  1. ^ "Burt's Bees Documentary - Business Insider". Business Insider. August 29, 2014.
  2. ^ "How I Did It: Roxanne Quimby". Inc.com.
  3. ^ Haraatz: "Burt Shavitz, the Reclusive Jewish Beekeeper Who Co-founded Burt's Bees, Dies at 80". July 6, 2015
  4. ^ "Burt Shavitz of Burt's Bees shares his photographic past". Collage. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  5. ^ Austin, Phyllis (June 15, 2015). Queen Bee. google.ca. ISBN 9780884484202. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  6. ^ "Burt's Bees Co-Founder Burt Shavitz On the Doc 'Burt's Buzz,' and Losing Millions". The Daily Beast.
  7. ^ "10 things you didn't know about the man behind Burt's Bees". Chatelaine. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  8. ^ "Obituary: Burt Shavitz: Buzz, buzz". The Economist. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  9. ^ Tad Friend (July 28, 2014). "Burt Shavitz, of Burt's Bees - The New Yorker". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Co-founder of Burt's Bees says he was ousted". The Big Story. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Burt of Burt's Bees says he was ousted". The Seattle Times. June 29, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  12. ^ Associated Press (July 5, 2015). "Burt Shavitz, the Burt Behind Burt's Bees, Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  13. ^ "Clorox to Acquire Burt's Bees; Expands Into Fast-Growing Natural Personal Care". thecloroxcompany.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  14. ^ Steven Kurutz (July 16, 2014). "Burt Shavitz, the World's Most Famous Retired Beekeeper". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  15. ^ "Burt's Buzz - a documentary". burtsbuzzdoc.com.
  16. ^ David Sharp, Associated Press (July 6, 2015). "Burt Shavitz, the Burt behind Burt's Bees, dies at 80". Yahoo! News. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  17. ^ WRAL. "Burt Shavitz, co-founder of Burt's Bees, passes away". WRAL.com.