Al­berto Cul­ver founder, horse breeder Lavin dies at 97

Cape Breton Post - - Obituaries -

Leonard Lavin, who built a small beauty sup­ply firm into the bil­lion-dol­lar Al­berto Cul­ver com­pany and owned a suc­cess­ful horse breed­ing, train­ing and rac­ing farm, has died. He was 97.

Lavin died Wed­nes­day evening at a fam­ily home in the Chicago sub­urb of River For­est from com­pli­ca­tions from pneu­mo­nia, fam­ily spokesman Dan Stone said Fri­day.

Lavin cre­ated Al­berto Cul­ver Co. after bor­row­ing money in 1955 to pur­chase a beauty sup­ply com­pany that sold Al­berto VO5 hair­dress­ing prod­uct, ac­cord­ing to a fam­ily obituary. Lavin ex­panded the com­pany to in­clude other well-known hair care lines such as Nexxus and TRESemme. Al­berto Cul­ver also owned Sally Beauty Sup­ply, which be­came its own com­pany in 2006.

Al­berto Cul­ver was sold to Unilever PLC in 2011. At the time it had sales of $1.5 bil­lion, em­ployed 3,500 people and sold prod­ucts in more than 100 coun­tries, the fam­ily obituary said.

Lavin also saw suc­cess in thor­ough­bred rac­ing with his Glen Hill Farm in Ocala, Florida, which has pro­duced sev­eral stakes win­ners, in­clud­ing the 1994 Breed­ers’ Cup Distaff win­ner the filly One Dreamer. The farm was twice named Florida Breeder of the Year.

Lavin was born in Chicago in 1919. He served in the U.S. Navy dur­ing World War II, par­tic­i­pat­ing in nu­mer­ous Pa­cific land­ings, his fam­ily said.

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