IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad lifeless at age 91

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Ingvar Kamprad attended the IKEA 50th anniversary in 2008 in Gothenburg Sweden

Ingvar Kamprad, a Swedish entrepreneur who grew a childhood business selling matches and lingonberries into Ikea, a build-it-yourself furniture empire that introduced sleek Scandinavian designs into tens of millions of homes around the world, died January 27 at his home in Smaland, a province in southern Sweden.

"Ingvar will be missed and fondly remembered by his family and Ikea co-workers all over the world", the company wrote.

His empire has since grown to 412 stores, and he was a part of the company's operations until 1988.

A statement from Ikea said that Kamprad had "peacefully passed away at his home". "To never give up, always try to become better and lead by example", CEO and President of Inter IKEA Group, Torbjörn Lööf, said in a statement.

The food portion of Ikea's empire, which includes in-store restaurants and grocery stores, generated 1.8 billion euros in sales past year.

Mr Kamprad's legacy was hailed by Ikea bosses, the Swedish foreign minister and retail experts, with Ikea calling him one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

The name Ikea is made up of the founder's initials and the first letters of the Elmtaryd farm and Agunnaryd village where he was raised.

Kamprad was known for driving an old Volvo, recycling tea bags and taking home little packets of salt and pepper from restaurant visits.

Now, I hate to milkshake duck the recently departed, but I'm gonna do it: Kamprad also faced controversy over the past couple of decades for his involvement in fascist movements back in the 1930s and 40s.

Ingvar Kamprad was born in 1926 in Småland in southern Sweden. Comparing the company's management culture to that of the Stasi, East Germany's secret police, he described a network of informers that kept Kamprad apprised of the latest office gossip and accused Ikea's executives of racism. He saved on taxes by moving to Switzerland in 1976, though he returned to Sweden in 2014. At age 5, Kamprad started his business ventures by selling matches to his neighbors.

Kamprad is survived by a daughter Annica from his first marriage to Kerstin Wadling and three sons - Peter, Jonas and Mathias - from his marriage to Margaretha Stennert.

At the time of his death, Kamprad on Bloomberg's Billionaire Index list, and is said to have had an estimated worth of $58.7 billion. Kamprad's character is crucified on a Maypole, according to the New Yorker, but much like his real-life counterpart he remained unfazed. IKEA is owned by a foundation Kamprad created, whose statutes require profits to be reinvested in the company or donated to charity.

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