Chaleo Yoovidhya, co-founder of the popular energy drink company Red Bull and one of Thailand's richest men, died today at age 89, the Bangkok Post reported.
His funeral rituals will be held in Bangkok's Yai district from Saturday until Friday, and a cremation will take place next Saturday, according to the Post. The bathing water for the funeral ceremony was provided by Thailand's Princess Soamsawali, the Post reported.
Chaleo rose from humble beginnings to become the the 205th richest man in the world, according to Forbes Magazine. His net worth was $5 billion dollars this year.
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Yoovidhya was born to Chinese immigrant parents in 1932, and worked as a salesman before setting up his company TC Pharmaceuticals in 1962, according to BBC News.
The company introduced the energy drink Krating Daeng, which became popular with shift workers, and launched it as Red Bull in 1984 with Austrian marketing expert Dietrich Mateschitz, according to BBC. Three years later began selling it in Austria, and is now sold in 70 countries throughout the world.
The proper translation of "Krating Daeng" is "red gaur," a phrase in Thailand that refers to the cattle-like, near-extinct animals found along the Thai-Cambodia border, the Bangkok Post reported. When the drink began selling internationally, "krating" was translated as "bull."
Thailand’s newspaper the Nation said Chaleo “will be remembered as a business and marketing genius who put the Thai energy drink on the global map,” the Associated Press reported.
Chaleo is survived by his wife and five children, according to the AP.
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