CVS co-founder Ralph Hoagland III is dead at 86

Posted January 22, 2020 12:36 p.m. EST

— Ralph Hoagland III, a serial entrepreneur who helped create CVS, America's largest drug store, died Friday. He was 86.

Hoagland died from complications due to posterior cortical atrophy, a dementia-related disease, CVS confirmed in a statement.

"All of us at CVS were saddened to learn of the passing of the company's co-founder, Ralph Hoagland III. We extend our sincere condolences to his family," CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis said in a statement emailed to CNN Business Wednesday morning.

Hoagland and his business partners, Sid and Stan Goldstein, started selling health and beauty products out of Hoagland's apartment in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1963, establishing the world's first Consumer Value Stores location. A year later, Hoagland and Golstein unveiled the first CVS logo and expanded the company, opening 17 additional stores, according to the CVS website.

In 1967, CVS began offering pharmaceutical products to customers and opened additional locations in Rhode Island. The company went public in 1978, and it announced the completion of its merger with the health insurer Aetna in November 2018. CVS currently has more than 9,600 locations across the United States.

In addition to pioneering a national drug store, Hoagland was also a civic-minded community activist who opened a number of small businesses in the Boston metro area. This included the Store 24 local retail store chain, the city's Orson Welles Cinema, two restaurants and a video game arcade, the Boston Globe reported.

"He supported a culture where stores continuously innovated how they merchandised their products, a legacy that lives on today in our chain of nearly 10,000 stores, each serving the diverse needs of their community with different product sets and store formats," DeAngelis said.

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