The Story of Herbalife Founder Mark Hughes

Marlene Rice

The Story of Herbalife Founder Mark Hughes

Mark Reynolds Hughes was born in January 1, 1956 and breathed his last in May 21, 2001 - a deservingly feted entrepreneur and astute investor with few equals. He's regarded as one of America's finest businessmen, chiefly revered for his founding Herbalife International and steering it to unprecedented heights of corporate success. That top-tier investment is now an internationally thriving commercial entity with footprints in over 95 countries.

Born in the La Miranda area of the wealthy state of California in the United States of America, Hughes was an ordinary child of humble parentage. His parents Jack Reynolds and Jo Ann Hughes divorced in 1970, when the business-minded youngster was barely 15 years. Owing to the familial turmoil that came with that unfortunate estrangement, little Mark was relegated to the sole custody of his mother.

With marital woes came perennial financial setbacks. And the strained mother and child had to depend on scanty welfare stipends. As a result of the ensuing emotional and fiscal crises, the deserted woman lapsed into ceaseless emotional traumas that almost culminated in advanced psychiatric problems. She battled obesity and piling mental upsets, quite unable to carry on with life as smoothly as she'd in the warm companionship of a breadwinning partner.

Due to the aftershocks emanating from his two guardians' advancing matrimonial difficulties, Mark Hughes dropped out of school at the Ninth Grade level, and began to drift into drug abuse well. Later describing himself a then slowly morphing delinquent, the genius entrepreneur confessed to have run against the law a couple of times.

Even worse, young Mr. Hughes was almost getting entrenched in cultic rituals practiced by some neighboring youths of his age in the same Californian neighborhood wherein he and his mother lived.

He was however luckily rescued by Nature's kinder forces of destiny and enrolled at a local rehab. Part of his daily rehabilitative activities at the reform center entailed selling raffle tickets for the same institution at which he was booked for reformation.

A born sales connoisseur, young Mark soon distinguished himself as the entire rehabilitation institution's top salesperson within a surprisingly short time. Speaking to the People Magazine a few years later, in 1985, the Herbalife founding maverick confided that the raffle-selling accolades he'd so swiftly amassed mainly depended on one's ability to raise the largest sums of money for the special-needs learning establishment...and that he'd entered such minor sales work apprenticeships wanting to emerge the best right away.

The immediately praise-garnering seller of raffles was nothing more than a nineteen-year-old CEDU learner, remember. At the same time, his drugs-hooked Mom was taken rather unconsciously ill in April 27, 1975. She passed away a short while after, and apparently recently over-dosed vials of prescription of certain medicines were found at her bedside.

Further toxicological inquests in the course of conducting various autopsy examinations lastly revealed the availability of fatal traces of Darvon in her system. Darvon is a rather strong painkiller with deadly consequences if outright overdosed. This three Hughes' already murky early adulthood into further unmitigated disarray. How unlucky to lose his closer parent when he'd not yet established any firm foothold in life apart from brief life-skills-oriented tutelages at CEDU.

Aged only 24 years, Hughes began the California-based Herbalife International 1980. With tireless hard work and the founder's trademark visionary zeal, the newly-started commercial venture grew quite exponentially to become one of the most thriving corporations worldwide in under 7 years.

Herbalife's products are designed to be circulated by daily increasing millions of independent distributors located in different countries all over the globe. The company's annual sales stood at $7.5 billion at the close of 2013's fiscal year, with more than 2.1 autonomous distribution agents from over 87 countries.

The trailblazing investor's meteoric rise to the acme of corporate excellence wasn't even remotely akin anyone's proverbial walk in the park. He was in the mid-1980s besieged by legal jigsaws that threatened to scuttle his newfound entrepreneurial breakthroughs...seriously pace-crippling charges premised on supposedly unconfirmed scientific claims associated with his weight loss products.

The powerful Food and Drugs Administration (F.D.A.) even accused the go-getting Herbalife CEO of using unverified labeling claims for his supplements brands.

The giant regulator in fact argued that the savvy corporate guru stood culpable of using unlicensed laxatives and diverse excessive quantities of caffeine in most of his firm's fat loss blends.

The California state attorney's office dubbed Hughes' ingenious marketing network outlook a typically unscrupulous scheme intended to fleece unsuspecting members of the local/global community. A comprehensive panel comprising top nutritionists and pundits drawn from other closely related professional disciplines was later be convened to look into the matter.

When queries regarding how his 9th Grade education background finally came to enable him to challenge University graduate nutrition experts on food-related scientific truths, the inimitable investment mogul wondered why the said experts in allegedly refined culinary sciences looked so fat themselves. He went ahead to dare the so-called wellness pundits to come up with anything that could even distantly rival the unmistakable slimming breakthroughs then so evidently achievable with Herbalife calorie-reducing formulas.

In order to pave way for the still-fledgling firm's further establishment of a firmer trading base, and to realize the exponential growth he'd envisioned, Mark Hughes ultimately agreed to pay regulatory authorities a whopping $850,000.

And so it's from such utterly uninspiring beginnings that the astute entrepreneur would magically transform Herbalife into the impressive corporate behemoth we know today.

Guest post: Jason Coote


Marlene Rice is the founder of Palm Beach Coach. When she’s not serving her clients, she loves to travel. She calls West Palm Beach, Florida her home.

To get more information and about Herbalife products and expert advice email or call: 561-932-2938