Leonardo Del Vecchio
Leonardo Del Vecchio (1935-) is the founder and chairman of Luxottica, a $3 billion (sales) designer and manufacturer of high-quality eyeglass frames.
Born into an impoverished Milanese family in 1935, Del Vecchio lost his father five months before his birth. Unable to make ends meet, his mother entrusted him to the care of nuns at age seven. Del Vecchio began working at 14 and has never stopped. He still clocks 14-hour workdays, whether at Luxottica's headquarters in Agordo, in the Italian Alps, or at one of the company's myriad offices around the world. The company owns the Ray-Ban brand and U.S. retailers LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut.
$8.5 billion as of 2005.
$6.9 billion as of 2004.