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Jacqueline Gold, founder of taboo-shattering Ann Summers brand, dies aged 62

The UK businesswoman died yesterday evening after seven years of treatment for breast cancer.

ANN SUMMERS FOUNDER Jacqueline Gold has died at the age of 62, her family said.

The UK businesswoman died yesterday evening after seven years of treatment for breast cancer.

A family statement said: “It is with unspeakable sadness that Ann Summers confirm our amazing executive chair Jacqueline Gold CBE passed away yesterday evening with her husband Dan, daughter Scarlett, sister Vanessa, and brother-in-law Nick, by her side.”

Her sister Vanessa said: “Jacqueline courageously battled stage four breast cancer for seven years and was an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey.

“In life she was a trailblazer, a visionary, and the most incredible woman, all of which makes this news that much harder to bear.

As a family, we are utterly heartbroken at the loss of our wife, mum, sister, and best friend.

Gold was best known for leading lingerie and sex toy brand Ann Summers and growing the retailer into a familiar sight on high streets. 

Ann Summers has a number of outlets in Ireland and famously opened one on O’Connell Street in Dublin, a decision that caused controversy at the time and prompted a debate on The Late Late Show. 

The brand was originally developed by David and Ralph Gold, her father and uncle, after snapping up the retailer’s early business following liquidation in 1972.

In 1981, Jacqueline Gold first joined the business on an internship.

After the first joining the operation,  Gold launched the Ann Summers party to grow the brand. The parties allowed women to host events in their own homes to sell Ann Summers products. 

Around ten years later, Gold was then made a director of the business before swiftly being named as its chief executive officer.

She continued to lead the business, which has 81 stores, in recent years as executive chair alongside her sister Vanessa, who is now chief executive officer.

She was made an CBE in the 2016 Uk’s royal honours list for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.

Gold’s death comes just two months after that of her father David Gold, the joint-chairman of West Ham United, at the age of 86.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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