Roy Larson Raymond
April 15, 1947
|Died||August 26, 1993 (aged 46)|
|Known for||Founder of Victoria's Secret|
|Spouse(s)||Gaye Raymond (divorced; 1993)|
Early life and education
On June 12, 1977, Raymond opened the first Victoria's Secret store at the Stanford Shopping Center after feeling embarrassed trying to purchase lingerie for his wife in an awkward, public department store environment. To open the store, he took a $40,000 bank loan and borrowed $40,000 from his in-laws. The company earned $500,000 in its first year. He quickly started a mail order catalog and opened three more stores.
In 1982, after five years of operation, Raymond sold the Victoria's Secret company, with its six stores and 42-page catalogue, grossing $6 million per year, to Leslie Wexner, creator of The Limited, for about $1 million. By the early 1990s, Victoria's Secret had become the largest American lingerie retailer, topping $1 billion.
In 1984, Raymond personally invested £650,000 to start My Child's Destiny. The business sold high-end children's products in a single store in San Francisco and through mail order catalogues. The store suffered due to poor location and the image of being elitist, going bankrupt in 1986.
On August 26, 1993 Raymond committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. He was last seen alive walking toward the Golden Gate Bridge, and shortly thereafter his body washed up on the shores of Marin County. Investigators concluded that he had committed suicide by jumping off the bridge. He and his wife, Gaye, divorced earlier in the year. Gaye speculated he suffered from depression, possibly due to business failures.
- California Deaths, 1940–1997, Roy Larson Raymond – Birth Date: 04/15/1947, Death Date: 08/26/1993, Birth Place: Connecticut, Death Place: Marin (County)
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