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Ikea Founder Dies At 91

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The man who changed our relationship with furniture, Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, yesterday died at his home at age 91. Kamprad his start at age 5 selling matchbooks. He founded Ikea at 17 using money given to him by his father for doing well at school despite his dyslexia. His true genius and the world's curse was when he came up with the idea of the customer building their own furniture. He was inspired when he saw an employee remove the legs of a table to fit it into a customer's car. And then the flat-pack furniture business was born.

His life wasn't without controversy. He called links he had to the Nazis during World War II the greatest mistake of his life. The hard-working Kamprad drove a modest Volvo and called himself thrifty. So if you're sitting on the floor this morning, trying to build a piece of his furniture, you can call yourself thrifty, too. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.