Theo Albrecht, who was 88, was a German soldier in World War II who returned home after the war to his parents' grocery store in Essen, Germany. By 1950, he and his older brother Karl had expanded to 13 stores. Aldi, an acronym for Albrecht's Discounts, now has more than 4,000 stores in Germany alone.
Albrecht bought Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe's in 1979, and oversaw exponential growth in the specialty grocer over the last 30 years.
Albrecht was worth an estimated $16.7 billion, according to Forbes.