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OTRC: Vidal Sassoon, famed celebrity hair stylist, dies at 84

Famed hair stylist Vidal Sassoon died at age 84 of apparent natural causes on May 9, 2012 at his home in Bel Air, California, law enforcement sources confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. (Pictured: In this photo released by Starpix, hair designer and businessman, Vidal Sassoon, stops for a photo at a special screening of 'Vidal Sassoon: The Movie,' Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 in New York.) (Starpix, Dave Allocca)

Vidal Sassoon, a famed celebrity hair stylist and businessman has died at age 84, of apparent natural causes.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Vidal Sassoon CBE, who died this morning at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by loved ones," the Vidal Sassoon company said in a statement. "The 84 year old hairdresser was born in 1928 and sadly lost his battle with leukemia today. He became the most celebrated hairdresser in the world having begun his career as an apprentice during the Second World war going on to revolutionise an industry through his iconic haircuts, salons, schools and product lines. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 20 years Ronnie, his children, grandchildren, family and friends."

The British hairdresser was found dead in his Bel Air home, a Los Angeles police spokesman confirmed to The Associated Press. Sassoon was surrounded by his family.

The hugely influential stylist was the subject of the documentary, "Vidal Sassoon: The Movie" in 2010. He is credited for creating several wash-and-go hairstyles including the bob, the Five-Point cut and the "Greek Goddess," a short, tousled perm. Sassoon was flown to Hollywood from London, at a reputed cost of $5,000, to create Mia Farrow's signature look in the 1968 film, "Rosemary's Baby."

His shaped cuts were an integral part of "the look" of Mary Quant, a superstar British fashion designer who popularized the miniskirt.

"My idea was to cut shape into the hair, to use it like fabric and take away everything that was superfluous," Sassoon said in 1993 in the Los Angeles Times, which first reported his death. "Women were going back to work, they were assuming their own power. They didn't have time to sit under the dryer anymore."

Sassoon opened his first salon in 1954 in London and eventually opened a salon in New York, as well. His hair care line launched in 1973 and was sold to Procter & Gamble in the early 1980s.

He established Vidal Sassoon Academies to teach aspiring stylists to use a client's bone structure to style their hair. In 2006, there were academies in England, the United States and Canada, with additional locations planned in Germany and China.

Sassoon wrote three books, an autobiography entitled, "Sorry I Kept You Waiting, Madam," which published in 1968. "A Year of Beauty and Health," which he wrote with his second wife, Beverly, was published in 1979. In 1984, he released "Cutting Hair the Vidal Sassoon Way."

Sassoon, who grew up poor in London, told the Associated Press that his mother decided he would be a hairdresser and he fulfilled her dream.

In addition to his work in beauty, Sassoon, who was a veteran of Israel's 1948 War of Independence, also founded the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, or SICSA, in 1982. He also supported The Boys Clubs of America and the Performing Arts Council of the Music Center of Los Angeles.

Sassoon was married four times and had four children with his second wife, actress Beverly Adams.

His slogan was "If you don't look good, we don't look good."

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