Reinhard Mohn, fifth generation of the family that founded media giant Bertelsmann AG, died on Saturday at the age of 88. Mohn served as honorary chairman of the supervisory board and sat on the board of trustees of the Bertelsmann Stiftung foundation, which he founded.
Harmut Ostowski, non-family chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann AG, said: "Bertelsmann mourns the loss of one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our age. Our thoughts are with Reinhard Mohn's family, especially with his widow Liz and his children. All of us at Bertelsmann, the entire nation, as well as our friends in Europe and the rest of the world have lost an entrepreneur and benefactor par excellence."
Mohn (pictured) is credited with growing Bertelsmann from a small printing and publishing business into an international media company over the 60 years he was involved in the family business. He took over company management in 1947 and served as CEO from then until 1981, during which time he expanded into foreign markets and converted the organisation into a listed company.
Mohn was also known for his philanthropic endeavours, most notably he began the Bertelsmann Stiftung foundation in 1977. He won numerous business and entrepreneurial awards including the Federal Republic of Germany's Order of Merit with Star.
Bertelsmann was founded in 1835 by Carl Bertelsmann, Mohn's great-great-grandfather, as a publisher of religious materials. Today Bertelsmann operates in over 50 countries and employs 100,000 people. Latest available figures put revenues at $21.1 billion but 2009 has been a difficult year for the media company, which reported net losses of €330 million for the first half of the year. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)
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