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Posted: January 28, 2018

Ingvar Kamprad, who founded Ikea, dead at 91

Ingvar Kamprad founded Ikea in 1943, when he was 17.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Ingvar Kamprad founded Ikea in 1943, when he was 17.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Ingvar Kamprad, who founded furniture giant Ikea, died at his home in Sweden, the company said on its official Instagram account. He was 91.

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Kamprad sold ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories in his Ikea stores, which grew into 355 outlets in 29 countries, CNN reported. He founded Ikea in 1943, when he was 17.

“He will be immensely missed and warmly remembered by his family and Ikea employees around the world,” the company said in a statement.

Kamprad was born in 1926 in Småland, southern Sweden. According to Ikea’s website, Kamprad began selling matches to neighbors when he was 5, and then used his bicycle to find new customers. He later sold flower seeds, Christmas tree decorations, greeting cards, and even pencils and ballpoint pens to make money, according to the Ikea website.

Kamprad created products such as the Poang and Billy bookcase and fed customers by selling millions of Swedish meatballs.

The company’s big break came in 1956 with the introduction of flat-pack furniture, Reuters reported. Kamprad said his got the idea while watching an employee taking the legs off a table to fit it into a customer’s vehicle, Reuters reported.

Ikea’s global revenue was $45 billion in 2017, CNN reported. The company is now owned by the Dutch Stichting Ingka Foundation, but Kamprad was a senior adviser to the group's supervisory board until his death, CNN reported.

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