Dame Anita Roddick has died of a brain hemorrhage, aged 63. Most American readers are doubtless saying "who?" although she is a household name in the UK. Roddick proved you can run an ethical, green business and still make millions.
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said Dame Anita was an "incredible woman" who would be "sorely missed". He said: "She was a amazing inspiration to those around her, not just in environmental and human rights issues, which were two of her passions.Dame Anita Roddick was also a progressive activist, running her own blog and website where she helped push human rights issues and ethical business practises.
"She was so ahead of her time when it came to issues of how business could be done in different ways, not just profit motivated but taking into account environmental issues. She was a true pioneer."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid his own tribute to Dame Anita. In a statement he said: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Anita Roddick, one of this country's true pioneers.
"She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. She will be remembered not only as a great campaigner but also as a great entrepreneur."
She had just returned from a trip to New Orleans where she was involved in advocacy for two prisoners held in solitary confinement for over thrity years under circumstances where the state is accused of misconduct in prosecuting their original case.
People like Anita Roddick are few and far between and the world is poorer for her departure.