Ex-Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh pulled from blazing waterfront Connecticut home but succumbed to his burns

The multimillionaire former CEO of online shoe store Zappos died on Friday at the age of 46, following a house fire nine days previously in Connecticut.

Tony Hsieh, who lived in Las Vegas, was believed to be in Connecticut visiting friends for Thanksgiving. 

Ivanka Trump was among those paying tribute to Hsieh, who she worked with through her fashion business. 

Hsieh, who amassed a fortune of $840 million, died from injuries sustained in New London, Connecticut, on November 18. 

Firefighters were called to the New London, Connecticut property on November 18

Firefighters were called to the New London, Connecticut property on November 18

Firefighters were called to the New London, Connecticut property on November 18

Rescuers dragged one person from the house, believed to be Hsieh, who was taken to hospital

Rescuers dragged one person from the house, believed to be Hsieh, who was taken to hospital

Rescuers dragged one person from the house, believed to be Hsieh, who was taken to hospital

The first daughter was a longtime friend of Hsieh, and took to Twitter on Saturday to share a series of photos taken with him from over the years. 

‘Celebrating the life while mourning the loss of my dear friend Tony Hsieh,’ she wrote. 

‘Tony was a deeply original thinker always challenging me to reject conformity & follow my heart. Tony was driven by the mission of delivering happiness & brought joy to all who knew him.’ 

Ivanka Trump previously had a shoe line which was sold on Zappos.com.  

Ivanka Trump is leading tributes to Tony Hsieh, the high-profile former CEO of Zappos.com, who died Friday at the age of 46

Ivanka Trump is leading tributes to Tony Hsieh, the high-profile former CEO of Zappos.com, who died Friday at the age of 46

Ivanka Trump is leading tributes to Tony Hsieh, the high-profile former CEO of Zappos.com, who died Friday at the age of 46 

Hseih is pictured with Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, clowning around inside a Las Vegas casino

Hseih is pictured with Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, clowning around inside a Las Vegas casino

Hseih is pictured with Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, clowning around inside a Las Vegas casino 

The First Daughter was a longtime friend of Hsieh, and took to Twitter Saturday to share a series of photos taken with him from over the years

The First Daughter was a longtime friend of Hsieh, and took to Twitter Saturday to share a series of photos taken with him from over the years

The First Daughter was a longtime friend of Hsieh, and took to Twitter Saturday to share a series of photos taken with him from over the years

Tony Hsieh, the high-profile former CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos.com, died Friday at the age of 46 from injuries he sustained in a house fire in Connecticut

Tony Hsieh, the high-profile former CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos.com, died Friday at the age of 46 from injuries he sustained in a house fire in Connecticut

Tony Hsieh, the high-profile former CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos.com, died Friday at the age of 46 from injuries he sustained in a house fire in Connecticut

Hsieh, who was born in Illinois and was the son of Taiwanese immigrants, studied at Harvard University before he joined Zappos – then called ShoeSite.com – in 1999. 

As CEO, he helped transform the fledgling internet start-up into a billion-dollar business. Zappos was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009, but Hsieh remained with the company until his retirement earlier this year. 

While Hsieh became known for his business acumen, it was his philanthropy and his focus on fostering a positive workplace culture for which he is now being remembered. 

For years, Hsieh worked to revitalize downtown Las Vegas, pledging $350 million in 2013 for redevelopment. The same year he moved Zappos’ headquarters into the former Las Vegas City Hall building. 

‘Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas,’ Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted Friday night.

‘Kathy and I send our love and condolences to Tony´s family and friends during this difficult time.’

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner (center) are pictured in with Hsieh (left) in an old photograph taken years before they began working at The White House

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner (center) are pictured in with Hsieh (left) in an old photograph taken years before they began working at The White House

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner (center) are pictured in with Hsieh (left) in an old photograph taken years before they began working at The White House 

Hsieh is pictured with former President Bill Clinton back in 2014

Hsieh is pictured with former President Bill Clinton back in 2014

Hsieh is pictured with former President Bill Clinton back in 2014  

Hsieh is pictured in Las Vegas with Britney Spears in 2015, during her residency in Las Vegas. Hsieh was a prominent resident of the city, and helped to revitalize its downtown area

Hsieh is pictured in Las Vegas with Britney Spears in 2015, during her residency in Las Vegas. Hsieh was a prominent resident of the city, and helped to revitalize its downtown area

Hsieh is pictured in Las Vegas with Britney Spears in 2015, during her residency in Las Vegas. Hsieh was a prominent resident of the city, and helped to revitalize its downtown area 

A wave of other tributes have also poured in on social media. 

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang said on Saturday morning: ‘I am stunned. Tony Hsieh touched so many lives and inspired so many entrepreneurs. 

‘His impact and legacy will go on and on. I met his family in Las Vegas – and am thinking of them today. RIP Tony. You will be missed.’ 

Skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk added: ‘Tony Hsieh was a visionary. He was generous with his time and willing to share his invaluable expertise with anyone.’

Jimmy Kimmel and New York Times reporter Kara Swisher are also among the big names who have tweeted. 

Dozens of big names, including Andrew Yang, Jimmy Kimmel and Tony Hawk, also paid tribute to the late businessman

Dozens of big names, including Andrew Yang, Jimmy Kimmel and Tony Hawk, also paid tribute to the late businessman

Dozens of big names, including Andrew Yang, Jimmy Kimmel and Tony Hawk, also paid tribute to the late businessman 

Back in 2010, Hsieh published the best-seller book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, in which he asserted that happy employees made for a more successful business.  

One quote from the book read: ‘Money alone isn’t enough to bring happiness . . . happiness is when you’re actually truly okay with losing everything you have.’

Despite his immense wealth, Hsieh was known for living in an Airstream trailer in downtown Las Vegas.  

Back in 2014, he transformed a parking lot in the city into a ‘micro-living oasis’, made up of around 30 RVs. 

He also had two pet llamas which lived in the trailer park community with him. 

As of 2020, he was still living in the tiny trailer. 

He was not married and had no children.  

Hsieh sold Zappos to Jeff Bezos and  Amazon for $1.2 billion back in 2009, but he continued to work as the online retailer's CEO for another decade. Bezos (pictured) has not commented publicly about Hsieh's death

Hsieh sold Zappos to Jeff Bezos and  Amazon for $1.2 billion back in 2009, but he continued to work as the online retailer's CEO for another decade. Bezos (pictured) has not commented publicly about Hsieh's death

Hsieh sold Zappos to Jeff Bezos and  Amazon for $1.2 billion back in 2009, but he continued to work as the online retailer’s CEO for another decade. Bezos (pictured) has not commented publicly about Hsieh’s death

Hsieh is pictured with Barbara Walters back in 2010. He became well-known for his views on fostering a positive workplace culture, and penned a book about how happy employees are better for business

Hsieh is pictured with Barbara Walters back in 2010. He became well-known for his views on fostering a positive workplace culture, and penned a book about how happy employees are better for business

Hsieh is pictured with Barbara Walters back in 2010. He became well-known for his views on fostering a positive workplace culture, and penned a book about how happy employees are better for business 

Despite his immense wealth, Hsieh was known for living in an Airstream trailer in downtown Las Vegas

Inside the tiny trailer Hsieh lived in, despite his $840 million fortune

Inside the tiny trailer Hsieh lived in, despite his $840 million fortune

Inside the tiny trailer Hsieh lived in, despite his $840 million fortune 

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