Biography Philanthropists

Leonardo Del Vecchio

Leonardo Del Vecchio
Leonardo Del Vecchio, 2011.jpeg

Leonardo Del Vecchio in 2011
Born 22 May 1935 (age 83)
Milan, Italy
Residence Milan, Italy
Citizenship Italian
Education High school[1]
Occupation Founder and chairman of Luxottica
Known for Sunglass HutLensCraftersRay-BanOakley
Net worth US$23.0 billion (September 2018)[1]
Spouse(s) Married
Children 6, including Claudio Del Vecchio

Leonardo Del Vecchio (born 22 May 1935) is an Italian billionaire businessman, the founder and chairman of Luxottica,.[2] the world’s largest producer and retailer of glasses and lenses[3], with 77,734 employees and over 7,000 stores.[4] As of January 2018, Del Vecchio was estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $21.9 billion, making him the second richest man in Italy, and the 47th richest in the world.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Leonardo Del Vecchio was born in 1935 in Milan, Italy, to an impoverished family. He began his career as an apprentice to a tool and die maker in Milan, but decided to turn his metalworking skills to make spectacle parts. So in 1961 he moved to Agordo in the province of Belluno, which is home to most of the Italian eyewear industry.[3] The new company was Luxottica s.a.s., a limited partnership. In 1967, he started selling complete eyeglass frames under the Luxottica brand, and in 1971 he entered the contract manufacturing business.

In 1974, he acquired Scarrone, a distribution company. In 1981 the company set up its first international subsidiary, in Germany. A licensing deal with the designer Giorgio Armani was settled in 1988.

The company listed in New York in 1990, and in Milan in December 2000, joining the MIB-30 (now S&P/MIB) index in September 2003. The listing enhanced the company’s ability to acquire other brands, starting with Italian brand Vogue in 1990, Persol and US Shoe Corporation (LensCrafters) in 1995, Ray-Ban in 1999 and Sunglass Hut, Inc. in 2001.[6] They went looking for more retail companies, acquiring Sydney-based OPSM in 2003, Pearle Vision in 2004, Surfeyes in 2006, and Cole National in 2004. Most recently, they acquired Oakley in a US$2.1bn deal in November 2007.[7]


Personal life[edit]

Del Vecchio is married, with six children, and lives in Milan.[1] He has one son, Claudio Del Vecchio, and two daughters with his first wife, two sons with his second wife, and one son with his third wife.[11][12] He remarried his second wife in 2010.[11]

Claudio Del Vecchio has been called his “heir apparent”, and owns the American clothing retailer Brooks Brothers.[12]