Burt’s Bees mourns the loss of co-founder Burt Shavitz

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Burt’s Bees mourns the loss of co-founder Burt Shavitz

Burt Shavitz, the co-founder of Burt’s Bees, passed away on July 5 at the age of 80. According to a spokeswoman for the company, the reclusive beekeeper died of respiratory complications in Bangor, Maine, surrounded by his family and friends.

Shavitz, who also acted as the face of the natural cosmetics label, began the company with Roxanne Quimby in the 1980s. He was making a living by selling his honey when he met Quimby, a single mother and back-to-the-lander. She began to make products from his beeswax, and Burt’s Bees was born.


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Their partnership ended after Quimby moved the operation to North Carolina in 1994. As the company continued to expand, Shavitz moved back to Maine, eventually leaving the business. In 2007, Clorox purchased Burt’s Bees for $925 million.

Although he is known for hailing from the backwoods of Maine, Shavitz grew up near New York, served in the Army in Germany and shot photos for Time-Life before leaving the city. In recent years, he lived in a cluttered house with no running water.

“Burt was a complex man who sought a simple life in pace with the seasons of nature on his land,” the company said in a statement. “If there is one thing we will remember from Burt’s life, in our fast-paced, high-tech culture, it’s to never lose sight of our relationship with nature.”

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