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Eugène Schueller
Born
Eugène Paul Louis Schueller

(1881-03-20)20 March 1881
Died 23 August 1957(1957-08-23) (aged 76)
Paris, France
Occupation Founder of L'Oréal
Children Liliane Bettencourt

Eugène Paul Louis Schueller (20 March 1881 – 23 August 1957) was a French pharmacist and entrepreneur who was the founder of L'Oréal, the world's leading company in cosmetics and beauty. He was one of the founders of modern advertising.

Career with L'Oréal

As a young French chemist of Alsatian paternal origin, Eugène Schueller graduated in 1904 from the Institut de Chimie Appliquée de Paris (now Chimie ParisTech). Schueller developed in 1907 an innovative hair-color formula, which he called Oréale. He formulated and manufactured his own products, and sold them to Parisian hairdressers. In 1909, he registered his company, the Société Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux, the future L'Oréal. The guiding principles of the company that would become L'Oréal were put into place from the start: research and innovation in the interest of beauty.

Support for fascism

During the early twentieth century, Schueller provided financial support and held meetings for La Cagoule at L'Oréal headquarters. La Cagoule was a violent French fascist-leaning, antisemitic and anti-communist group whose leader formed a political party Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire (MSR, Social Revolutionary Movement) which in Occupied France supported the Vichy collaboration with the conquerors from Nazi Germany.

L'Oréal hired several members of the group as executives after World War II, such as Jacques Corrèze, who served as CEO of the U.S. operation. This involvement was extensively researched by Michael Bar-Zohar in his book, Bitter Scent.

Family

Schueller's daughter, Liliane Bettencourt, was the widow of André Bettencourt with whom she had one daughter, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, a member of L'Oréal's board of directors. Françoise Meyers is married to Jean-Pierre Meyers, whose rabbi grandfather died in Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp. In 2017, Liliane Bettencourt was the wealthiest woman in the world, with holdings estimated at US$39.5 billion.

Legacy

The head office of L'Oréal in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine is named Centre Eugène Schueller.

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