On this day, March 4 in the year 1926, one of the pioneers in the multi-level marketing industry was born in Michigan, USA. His name is Richard Marvin DeVos Sr., the co-founder of Amway and owner of Orlando Magic NBA basketball team. According to forbes.com, his net worth is $5.4 billion in 2018.
Richard Devos was the son of a couple who owned an electrical business. After graduating from Calvin College, he partnered with his school friend Jay Van Andel to put up a hamburger stand. When it did not succeed, they tried air charter service, a sailing business and later, import of wooden goods. In 1949, the two were introduced to the distributorship of Nutrilite Products through a novel marketing strategy called network marketing or multi-level marketing.
When Richard and his partner had over 5,000 distributors, they formed Amway (short for American Way Association) to include other products to sell. Subsequently, they formed Amway Sales Corporation and Amway Services Corporation, two companies to handle sales and insurance, respectively. Later, they acquired the company that manufactures its products and renamed it Amway manufacturing Corporation. In 1964, the three companies were merged to form Amway Corporation. In 1999, the partners established Alticor as an umbrella company for Amway and three other businesses, manufacturing and logistics, research and development, and internet marketing.
Richard Devos has four children with his wife Helen. He is the author of four self-help books namely: Compassionate Capitalism, Hope From My Heart: Ten Lessons For Life, Believe!, and Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People. In 1991, he became the owner of Orlando Magic after buying it for $85 million.