Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche

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Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche
50th Birthday Picture of Fritz Hoffmann: page 34 in Peyer (1996)
BornFritz Hoffmann
24 October 1868
Basel, Switzerland
Died18 April 1920(1920-04-18) (aged 51)
Basel, Switzerland
Other namesFritz Hoffmann
RelativesLuc Hoffmann (grandson, son of Emmanuel)

Fritz Hoffmann, later Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche (24 October 1868, Basel (French: Bâle) – 18 April 1920, Basel) was the founder of Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. (French: F. Hoffmann-La Roche SA, German: die F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG).


Hoffmann was born in Switzerland on 24 October 1868, and died on 18 April 1920.

His family were wealthy business people, and provided both employment experience and investment at the beginning of his business career.

He worked for a bank, a pharmacy, a chemicals merchant and a pharmaceutical trader before going into business.[1]

On 2 May 1895 Fritz Hoffmann married Adèle La Roche (1876–1938). It was a common practice in Switzerland for married couples to hyphenate the name, so from this point he was often referred to as Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche. They had two sons, Emmanuel (4 May 1896, Basel – 3 October 1932, Basel) and Alfred (25 July 1898–1987). The couple were divorced in 1919 and he married divorcée Elisabeth von der Mühll (1882–1970).[2]


In 1894 he formed a company with Max Carl Traub (1855–1919)[3] called Hoffmann, Traub & Co., which manufactured a limited range of pharmaceutical and chemical products. His father contributed the majority of the capital, Traub some patents and contracts. In 1896 Traub left the company and it was renamed F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co..

According to Peyer (See below) "For his time, Fritz Hoffmann was unusually interested in product promotion" and paid attention to all aspects of publicity from simple advertising to packaging and promotion of key individuals such as pharmacists. He also built up international contacts for raw materials and product sales, and supported research. Following the setback of the 1st World War, these factors helped the company to recover and expand. He retired from the board of the company because of ill-health in 1919 and died the following year.[1]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b H. C. Peyer (1996) Roche - A Company History 1896-1996 (trans J. P. Richardson) Basel: Editiones Roche, ISBN 3-907770-59-5
  2. ^ Traditionally Ahead of our Time (2008)
  3. ^ ADB Biographie
    ADB Biographie