Creator, Co-Founder Of Red Bull Dies At 89

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Billionaire Chaleo Yoovidhya, who co-founded Red Bull and was Thailand's second richest man, died on Saturday at the age of 89. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz remembers the man that would eventually give people wings.


Some sad news from the beverage world today. The creator of the energy drink Red Bull, Chaleo Yoovidhya, has died at the age of 89. He actually invented what would become Red Bull in the 1970s. Originally, it was marketed to truck drivers and blue-collar workers in Thailand. But in 1982, an Austrian businessman was about to make future generations of teenagers, clubbers and extreme sports aficionados very amped up. Dietrich Mateschitz tried the Thai energy drink known then as Krating Daeng, and he loved it. Mateschitz tracked down Chaleo Yoovidhya and the rest is history. By 1992, Red Bull started to go global with creative ads like this one:


UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I say, Leonardo, how's that painting coming?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Ah, it's a masterpiece way ahead of its time.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Well, we asked for something that would uplift the human spirit. What on Earth is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Exactly, (unintelligible). I am a genius. It's a drink called Red Bull.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Red Bull? You call that a work of art? You must be mad.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: You'll see. Someday, everybody will be singing Red Bull gives you wings.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: That's it. I'm giving the chapel down to Michelangelo.

RAZ: The drink made Dietrich Mateschitz and Chaleo Yoovidhya very, very rich. Yoovidhya was born the son of poor Chinese immigrants. His parents raised ducks to make a living. Red Bull made him a multibillionaire, Thailand's third richest man and the 205th richest in the world. Red Bull sells four billion cans of its energy drink a year in more than 160 countries. Here's one of them.


RAZ: To Red Bull co-founder, Chaleo Yoovidhya.


MERLE HAGGARD: (Singing) I gotta drink up and be somebody. I'll have another...

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