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Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz dies, company says

<i>Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON/picture-alliance/dpa/AP</i><br/>Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz died at the age of 79 after illness.
Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON/picture-alliance/dpa/AP
Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz died at the age of 79 after illness.

By Andy Rose, CNN

The owner and co-founder of the sports drink company Red Bull has died, the company announced Saturday.

Dietrich Mateschitz began marketing the drink in Austria in 1987, according to the company.

“In these moments, the over-riding feeling is one of sadness,” Red Bull said in a company-wide email to employees. “But soon the sadness will make way for gratitude — gratitude for what he changed, moved, encouraged and made possible for so many individual people. We will remain connected to him respectfully and lovingly.”

In addition to its flagship product, Red Bull has become known under Mateschitz for its intensive marketing of extreme sports and events, including a 2012 record-breaking skydive from the edge of space. It also sponsors two Formula One teams.

“He was an incredible visionary entrepreneur and a man who helped to transform our sport and created the Red Bull brand that is known all around the world,” Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali said in a written statement.

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