Zappos founder Tony Hsieh dead at 46

Zappos founder Tony Hsieh dead at 46

Tony Hsieh, the entrepreneur who developed online shoe retailer Zappos.com into a billion-dollar brand, has died. He was 46.

DTP Companies, which Hsieh founded, said he died Friday in Connecticut, KLAS reported. Hsieh had been recently injured in a house fire while visiting the state. An official cause of death has not been announced.

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“Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him and forever brightened the world,” DTP Companies said in a statement. “Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life.”

Hsieh had recently retired from Zappos after 20 years.

“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,” the company said in a statement. “His spirit will forever be a part of Zappos.”

Hsieh graduated Harvard and sold a website with his roommate for $265 million. He invested that in Zappos in 1999, which at the time ,was called “ShoeSite.com.” The retailer expanded to also sell handbags, clothes and other accessories.

Amazon bought Zappos in 2009 for $1.2 billion, keeping Hsieh on.

Hsieh was also known for his work shaping downtown Las Vegas.

He pledged $350 million in 2013 for the redevelopment of downtown. That year he also moved Zappos headquarters to the former Las Vegas City Hall building.

“Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said on social media. “Kathy and I send our love and condolences to Tony’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.