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Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche
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Fritz Hoffmann

24 October 1868
Basel, Switzerland
Died 18 April 1920(1920-04-18) (aged 51)
Basel, Switzerland
Nationality Swiss
Other names Fritz Hoffmann-von der Mühll
Occupation Businessman
Spouse(s) Adèle La Roche
Elisabeth von der Mühll
Children Emanuel Hoffmann
Alfred Hoffmann
Relatives Luc Hoffmann (grandson; son of Emmanuel)
Fritz Hoffmann- La Roche (von der Mühll)
Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche (von der Mühll) (1868–1920), Wolfgottesacker, Basel

Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, later Fritz Hoffmann-von der Mühll (24 October 1868 – 18 April 1920), was a Swiss businessman who founded the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-LaRoche & Co.

Early life

Hoffmann was born in Basel, Switzerland (French: Bâle). His family were wealthy businesspeople from Basel's social elite (called the "Daig"), and they provided both employment experience and investment at the beginning of his business career. He worked for a bank, a pharmacy, a chemicals merchant and a pharmaceutical trader before going into business.

Marriages and children

On 2 May 1895, Hoffmann married Adèle La Roche (1876–1938). It was a common practice in Switzerland for married couples to hyphenate the name, so from this point he was often referred to as Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche.

They had two sons, Emmanuel (4 May 1896, Basel – 3 October 1932, Basel) and Alfred (25 July 1898–1987). The couple were divorced in 1919, and he married divorcée Elisabeth von der Mühll, also of the Daig (1882–1970).

Business career

In 1894, he formed a company with Max Carl Traub (1855–1919) called Hoffmann, Traub & Co., which manufactured a limited range of pharmaceutical and chemical products. His father contributed the majority of the capital, and Traub some patents and contracts. In 1896, Traub left the company, and it was renamed F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co.

According to Peyer (see below), "For his time, Fritz Hoffmann was unusually interested in product promotion and paid attention to all aspects of publicity from simple advertising to packaging and promotion of key individuals such as pharmacists. He also built up international contacts for raw materials and product sales, and supported research. Following the setback of the 1st World War, these factors helped the company to recover and expand. He retired from the board of the company because of ill-health in 1919 and died the following year."

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