20 March 1881|
|Died||23 August 1957
|Occupation||Founder of L'Oréal|
Eugène Paul Louis Schueller (20 March 1881 – 23 August 1957) was a French pharmacist and entrepreneur who was the founder of L'Oréal, the world's leading company in cosmetics and beauty. He was one of the founders of modern advertising.
Career with L'Oréal
As a young French chemist of German parents, Eugène Schueller graduated in 1904 from the Institut de Chimie Appliquée de Paris (now Chimie ParisTech). Schueller developed in 1907 an innovative hair-color formula, which he called Oréale. He formulated and manufactured his own products, and sold them to Parisian hairdressers.
In 1909, he registered his company, the Société Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux, the future L'Oréal. The guiding principles of the company that would become L'Oréal were put into place from the start: research and innovation in the interest of beauty.
Support for fascism
During the early twentieth century, Schueller provided financial support and held meetings for La Cagoule at L'Oréal headquarters. La Cagoule was a violent French fascist-leaning, antisemitic and anti-communist group whose leader formed a political party Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire (MSR, Social Revolutionary Movement) which in Occupied France supported the Vichy collaboration with the conquerors from Nazi Germany.
L'Oréal hired several members of the group as executives after World War II, such as Jacques Corrèze, who served as CEO of the U.S. operation. This involvement was extensively researched by Michael Bar-Zohar in his book, Bitter Scent.
Schueller's daughter, Liliane Bettencourt, is the widow of André Bettencourt with whom she had one daughter, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, a member of L'Oréal's board of directors. Françoise Meyers is married to Jean-Pierre Meyers, whose parents died in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. Liliane Bettencourt is currently the wealthiest woman in the world, with holdings estimated at US$36.4 billion.
- Malcolm Gladwell (March 28, 2011). "The Color of Money". The New Yorker.
- http://www.forbes.com/profile/liliane-bettencourt/?list=billionaires. Accessed 2 March 2015
- "World Presence." L'Oréal. Retrieved on 14 July 2010. "Centre Eugène Schueller 41, rue Martre 92117 CLICHY"
- Michael Bar-Zohar, Bitter Scent: The Case of L'Oréal, Nazis, and the Arab Boycott (London, Dutton Books: 1996) p. 264.