Eugène Schueller

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Eugène Paul Louis Schueller (born March 20, 1881 in Paris , † August 23, 1957 in Ploubazlanec , Département Côtes-d'Armor ) was the founder and head of the French cosmetics group L'Oréal .


The son of Charles Schueller and Amélie Victoire Denisot was born in the back room of their parents' bakery at 124 Rue du Cherche-Midi in VI. Born in the 4th arrondissement of Paris . After his award-winning doctorate at the Institute for Applied Chemistry in Paris (today École nationale supérieure de chimie de Paris ) in 1904, he became Professor Victor Auger's assistant at the Sorbonne in the same year .

In 1909 he married Louise Madeleine Berthe Doncieux. His daughter Liliane (later Liliane Bettencourt ) was born on October 21, 1922 . His wife died on October 27, 1927. On May 26, 1932, he married Annie Grace Burrows.

Schueller took part in the First World War and received the Croix de guerre award for it . He was a member of the Legion of Honor .

As an intimate friend of Eugène Deloncle , he provided funds to found the right-wing, anti-Semitic, terrorist group Comité secret d'action révolutionnaire (CSAR) , better known under the name " Cagoule " given by Maurice Pujo .

Thanks to the testimony of François Mitterrand (who knew him from days together at the Cagoule) and André Bettencourt (another sympathizer), Schueller was released after the war because he was allegedly also in the resistance . Thereupon Schueller hired François Mitterrand as general director of the publishing house Éditions du Rond-Point of the L'Oréal group (director of the magazine Votre Beauté = your beauty) and André Bettencourt took over the management of the group of companies. Mitterrand gave up his position in 1946 to be elected as a member of parliament. Bettencourt married Schueller's daughter Liliane in 1950 .

Schueller died in 1957 at the age of 76. He was buried in the old cemetery of Neuilly-sur-Seine .


In 1907 he had success with synthetic hair dyes ; he used p- phenylenediamine , the importance of which for hair coloring was discovered by Ernst Erdmann at Agfa as early as 1888 . They were gentler than some of the previously used aggressive substances such as metal salts. He called the improved version Auréole , which became the basis of his later cosmetics company. On July 30, 1909, he founded the Société française de teinture inoffensives pour cheveux ("French society of non-aggressive hair coloring"), which was converted in 1936 into L'Oréal.

Schueller was also the founder of the Société d'études des maisons préfabriquées Schueller (= research company for prefabricated houses Schueller; later it became the Compagnie industrial des maisons préfabriquées = industrial company for prefabricated houses). At the same time he ran the Valentine paint factory , the Société industrial de celluloïd (= celluloid industrial company ), the Société générale des matières plastiques (= general society for plastic materials) and the Nobel française (which arose from the merger of two predecessor companies).

He headed L'Oréal until his death in 1957. François Dalle , an old companion of Mitterrand and Bettencourt, was succeeded at the top of the company . His only daughter Liliane Bettencourt inherited his share in L'Oréal.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Rudolf Balmer: History of the cosmetics company: L'Oréals brown past . , July 22, 2010, accessed on September 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Philippe Landru: Schueller Eugène. Neuilly-sur-Seine - Ancien cimetière . Cimetières de France et d'ailleurs,, July 13, 2008, accessed on September 24, 2017 (French).
  3. Martina Züger: As of July 30, 2009 - 100 years ago: Eugène Schueller founded L'Oréal . Westdeutscher Rundfunk , July 30, 2009, accessed September 24, 2017.