Marc Rich, the controversial billionaire founder of the company that went on to become commodities giant Glencore-Xstrata has died aged 78; Received Pardon in 2001 from Bill Clinton for tax evasion and illegal trading with Iran

June 26, 2013, 5:35 a.m. ET

Glencore Founder Marc Rich Dead

Rich Received Pardon in 2001 from Bill Clinton

By ALEX MACDONALD and JAMES HERRON

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LONDON—Marc Rich, the founder of the company that went on to become commodities giant Glencore-Xstrata GLEN.LN -2.12% PLC, has died aged 78.

“We are saddened to hear of the death of Marc. He was a friend and one of the great pioneers of the commodities trading industry,” the company’s Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg said Wednesday. “Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with his family at this time.”

Switzerland’s Radio 1 reported that Mr. Rich died near Lucerne and would be buried in Tel Aviv, Israel.In addition to his involvement in Glencore, Mr. Rich was known for receiving a pardon in 2001 from U.S. President Bill Clinton on his last day in office. At the time, Mr. Rich was a fugitive wanted for U.S. tax fraud and issues involving illicit oil trading with Iran.

Mr. Rich was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1934 but facing the prospect of religious persecution, his family eventually immigrated to the U.S. in 1941, according to a biography on the Marc Rich Foundation website.

Glencore started in 1974 as Marc Rich + Co AG, a trader of metals, minerals, crude oil, and oil products, according to the company’s website. Over two decades of Mr. Rich’s involvement in the firm, Glencore grew into a global trading and mining giant, driven by several acquisitions of mining companies, and ore smelters and processors.

Mr. Rich sold his stake in Glencore in 1993 by way of a management buyout.

The company listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges in May 2011 and completed its merger with mining company Xstrata this year.

Glencore founder Marc Rich dies at 78 in Switzerland

Published on Jun 26, 2013

Swiss billionaire Marc Rich receives the Award Honorary Doctorate from Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv on May 15, 2007. The controversial founder of Swiss commodities giant Glencore, Mr Marc Rich, who was pardoned by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office for tax evasion, has died at the age of 78, his company said on Wednesday. — FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (AFP) – The controversial founder of Swiss commodities giant Glencore, Marc Rich, who was pardoned by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office for tax evasion, has died at the age of 78, his company said on Wednesday.

The international businessman, died of a brain stroke at Lucern in central Switzerland, the March Rich Group said in a statement.

Rich was a fugitive from US justice for nearly two decades after his indictment for tax evasion and illegal trading with Iran until Clinton wiped his slate clean in 2001.

“He is survived by his daughters Ilona Schachter-Rich and Danielle Kilstock Rich with their families,” the statement added, without providing further details.

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