|Born||Roy Larson Raymond
April 15, 1947
|Died||August 26, 1993
Marin County, California, U.S.
|Known for||Founder of Victoria's Secret|
|Spouse(s)||Gaye Raymond (divorced; 1993)|
On June 12, 1977, he 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 relatives. 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 leaping off the Golden Gate Bridge at the age of 46. 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 leaping off the bridge. He and his wife, Gaye, divorced earlier in the year. Gaye speculated he suffered depression, possible due to business failures. He was survived by their two teenage children.
- 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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