Chaleo Yoovidhya, creator of the world-famous energy drink Red Bull, passed away today of natural causes. He was 89.
The self-made billionaire, listed by Forbes as the richest man in Thailand, launched Red Bull (Krathing Daeng in Thailand) in the 70's through his company, T.C. Pharmaceuticals. It was an instant hit among truck drivers and construction workers.
In the early 80's, Chaleo was persuaded by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz to introduce the drink in foreign markets. Mateschitz, then an international marketing director, would make frequent trips to Thailand, and found that "one glass [of Krating Daeng] and the jet lag was gone."
Chaleo partnered with Mateschitz, and Red Bull quickly took flight. It is currently sold in over 70 countries.