Roy Raymond

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Roy Raymond
Roy Raymond.png
Born Roy Larson Raymond[1]
(1947-04-15)April 15, 1947
Connecticut, U.S.[1]
Died August 26, 1993(1993-08-26) (aged 46)
Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County, California, U.S.[1]
Occupation Businessman
Known for Founder of Victoria's Secret
Spouse(s) Gaye Raymond (divorced; 1993)[2]
Children 2

Roy Larson Raymond (April 15, 1947 – August 26, 1993)[1] was an American businessman who founded the Victoria's Secret lingerie retail store.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Raymond was an alumnus of Tufts University and Stanford Graduate School of Business.[citation needed]


Early career[edit]

Raymond worked for the Vicks company in their marketing department.[4]

Victoria's Secret[edit]

On June 12, 1977,[3] 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.[5]

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.[5][6] 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.[5][7] 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.[8]


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.[5][9] He and his wife, Gaye, divorced earlier in the year.[2] Gaye speculated he suffered from depression, possibly due to business failures.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d California Deaths, 1940–1997, Roy Larson Raymond – Birth Date: 04/15/1947, Death Date: 08/26/1993, Birth Place: Connecticut, Death Place: Marin (County)
  2. ^ a b Barr, Naomi (30 October 2013). "Happy Ending, Right?". Slate. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Victoria's Secret". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Faludi, Susan (15 August 2006). Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-307-34542-4. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Roy Raymond, 47; Began Victoria's Secret". The New York Times. San Francisco. 2 September 1993. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "About Us." Limited Brands Timeline. Archived 2011-11-10 at the Wayback Machine. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.
  7. ^ a b Dunbar, Polly; Sheridan, Peter (14 July 2012). "Why the man behind £500m lingerie empire jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge: Tragedy of Victoria's Secret founder uncovered as first stores open in Britain". Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  8. ^ Bishop, Katherine (27 December 1986). "An Elegant Kids' Store Fails". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  9. ^ Bonander, Ross (Dec 2, 2009). "5 Things You Didn't know: Victoria's Secret". Retrieved 2 December 2009.