Burt Shavitz, The Burt Behind Burt’s Bees, Dies at 80

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29: Burt Shavitz attends "Burt's Buzz" screening at Crosby Street Hotel on May 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

PARKMAN, Maine (AP) —

Burt Shavitz, the Burt behind Burt’s Bees who co-founded the natural cosmetics company before it sold to Clorox, has died. He was 80.

A spokeswoman for Burt’s Bees says Shavtiz died Sunday at his home in rural Maine, surrounded by family and friends.

Shavitz was a hippie making a living by selling honey when his life was altered by a chance encounter with a hitchhiking Roxanne Quimby. She was a single mother and a back-to-the-lander who impressed Shavitz with her ingenuity.

In the 1980s she began making products from his beeswax, and they became partners. An image of Burt’s face – and his untamed beard – was featured on labels.

Their business partnership ended after the business moved in 1994 to North Carolina. In 2007, Clorox purchased Burt’s Bees for $925 million.