Arguably one of Amway’s most influential and controversial leaders, Bill Britt has passed away at age 81.

I had the opportunity to see Bill Britt speak on a number of occasions and there is no doubt that he made a major impact on the Amway business and the Network Marketing business.

One of my favorite Bill Britt quotes is “How many people are better off because you lived?”.

Here is the announcement from Amway’s Achieve magazine:

Bill_&_Peggy_BrittIt is with great sadness that we note the passing of Founders Crown Ambassador and Founders Council Member Bill Britt.

Bill and his wife Peggy started their Amway business in 1970. At that time, Bill was a city manager in North Carolina and Peggy was a secretary. “We were successful in our careers, but wanted more,” said Bill in a recent interview. “The Amway business model creates a level playing field for everyone. You get out of it what you put into it.”

Since then, the Britts have built one of the largest global IBO organizations in Amway history – one that includes an extensive presence in the United States., India, and China. The Britts became the first Founders Council Members in 1998 and qualified at the Founders Crown Ambassador level in 2002. Most recently in 2004, the Britts reached 40 FAA (Founders Achievement Award) points.

Bill taught all the IBOs he mentored one primary lesson – In order to become the greatest leader, one must become the greatest servant. This personal philosophy guided Bill in all he did. He’d often speak about the importance he felt it had in his business, as well as his daily life.

Amway President Doug DeVos said, “Bill epitomized the spirit of Amway and free enterprise. He leaves a dynamic legacy of global distributors that will continue to carry his passion into their own personal businesses – and their lives – for years to come.”

”Not only have we lost an Amway legend, but also, a dear friend,” said Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel. “At this difficult time, we take comfort in the fact that in Bill, we gained so much, including a global legacy that we know will live on for years. We will always honor Bill’s remarkable Amway accomplishments, his passion for service, his love of people, and his dedication to others.”

Vice President of Sales for Amway North America, Sandy Spielmaker, shares, “I will always treasure my relationship with Bill and will miss him dearly. He was a pioneer, an innovator, an educator, a motivator, and a good friend. His door was always open to new IBOs just starting out, seasoned leaders, and Amway employees. He was kind, caring, and always passionate about making the business better for all IBOs around the world. I learned so much from him and will always hold him in the highest regard.”

Bill Britt will be greatly missed by the global Amway family. He was loved by not only his family and friends, but the countless thousands who found success in the Amway business because of Bill’s inspiring leadership. We are fortunate that he was part of our IBO family.

Bill is survived by his wife, Peggy, who continues the Britts’ Amway business legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Peggy and the Britt family, as well as their friends and extended IBO family throughout the world.