Iconic hair stylist and fashion figure Vidal Sassoon has passed away at the age of 84, reports the Los Angeles Times. Family members were at Sassoon’s side in his L.A. home. He had been suffering from an illness, reported last June as leukemia, though no details were provided.
Sassoon was born to immigrant parents in London’s Hammersmith neighborhood in 1928 and was placed in an orphanage after his father left the family. He left school at age 14 and shortly thereafter begin a hairdressing apprenticeship. After World War II struck, he became the youngest member of the 43 Group, a Jewish veterans’ underground organization, fighting anti-semitism at age 17. Three years later, he served in the army of the newly founded state of Israel. He would later found the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism in 1982.
He returned to London to begin his hair styling career in earnest and eventually created the bob, geometric perm, and the “Nancy Kwan” looks. He moved to the U.S. and had sold his name to Procter & Gamble to create a line of shampoos and conditioners, as well as a chain of salons in the States and his native U.K. The relationship was fractured by 2003, when Sassoon sued the corporation for undermarketing his brand, and he eventually dissociated himself from it.
Sassoon was married four times. He is survived by wife Rhonda C. Sassoon, whom he wed in 1992 and three of the four children he had with second wife Beverly Adams.