IKEA Founder Ingvar Kamprad Dies at 91

Ingvar Kamprad, the innovator of furniture giant IKEA, has passed away.

The founder of the Swedish decor company was found dead at his home in Småland on Saturday, according to the company’s site.

“The founder of IKEA and Ikano, and one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century, Ingvar Kamprad, has peacefully passed away, at his home in Småland, Sweden, on the 27th of January,” the statement read. “Surrounded by his loved ones, he died at the age of 91, following a short illness.”

Kamprad started what would become his décor empire at just age 17. Although he hadn’t held an operational role at the company since 1988, he continued to act as a senior advisor through his last days.

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“We are deeply saddened by Ingvar’s passing,” said Torbjörn Lööf CEO and President of Inter IKEA Group. “We will remember his dedication and commitment to always side with the many people. To never give up, always try to become better and lead by example.”

Kamprad’s mission was to “create a better life everyday life for the many people by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them,” according to a list of manifestos on IKEA.

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Since its inception, IKEA has done just that. With items ranging from inexpensive tchotchkes to sectional sofas, IKEA has lived up to its original idea and become a household name. It recently made headlines for its unusual advertisement that included a pregnancy test, as well as its popularity amongst the Game of Thrones costume designer, who used the popular RENS rug and transformed it into a cape for the series’ character, Jon Snow.

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”We are mourning the loss of our founder and dear friend,” Jesper Brodin, CEO and President of the IKEA Group, said. “His legacy will be admired for many years to come and his vision – to create a better everyday life for the many people – will continue to guide and inspire us.”

PEOPLE.com

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