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Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad dies at 91

Ingvar Kamprad, the billionaire founder of Swedish furniture giant Ikea, died at his home in Smaland, Sweden, on Saturday, the company announced Sunday. He was 91.

Kamprad started Ikea in 1943 at age 17, but it wasn’t until 1956 that he hit upon the store’s trademark flat-packing system to cut costs by reducing transit space. He maintained a frugal lifestyle even after becoming wealthy, flying economy and buying his clothes at flea markets.

In his later years, Kamprad came under fire for youthful involvement in a Swedish nationalist group linked to the Nazis. He apologized, calling his actions “stupidity” and his “greatest mistake.”

“Ingvar Kamprad was a great entrepreneur of the typical southern Swedish kind, hardworking and stubborn, with a lot of warmth and a playful twinkle in his eye,” said a statement from Ikea on Sunday. “He worked until the very end of his life, staying true to his own motto that most things remain to be done.”