Chaleo Yoovidhya, the self-made Thai billionaire who introduced the world to energy drinks and co-founded Red Bull, died Saturday of natural causes in Bangkok. He claimed to be 80, but he may have been 88. Yoovidhya was born in central Thailand’s Phichit province to a Chinese father and a Thai mother who it’s said sold fruit and ducks to survive. In the 1960s, he started a small company, TC Pharmaceuticals, and created an energy drink prototype a decade later called Krathing Daeng, which means Red Bull in English. With Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz, he modified the formula and founded the international Red Bull brand, which launched in 1987 and sells billions of wake-up juice in those revolutionary skinny cans every year. This year, Forbes magazine ranked him the 205th-richest man in the world, worth $5 billion.
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