Gary Young, Founder and Former CEO of Young Living, Has Died

By | 2018-05-17T17:23:00+00:00 May 13th, 2018|Categories: MLM News, Multi-Level Marketing, Young Living|
gary young dies age 68


The founder and former CEO of Young Living Gary Young is dead at age 68.

Earlier today, Young Living COO Jared Turner informed the company that Donald “Gary” Young has passed away due to complications from multiple strokes. Young was a pioneer of the essential oils industry and built Young Living into a multi-level marketing giant with over a billion dollars in sales in 2017.

Despite his success, Gary Young has been the subject of controversy over the years including the suspicious death of his daughter in 1982 during a water birth and being arrested for practicing medicine without a license in 1983.

We’ll update this story as we get more details. Full text of Jared’s message is below:

Young Living family,

It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that our mentor and friend, our beloved founder Gary Young, passed away peacefully today in Salt Lake City, Utah surrounded by his closest family and friends due to complications resulting from a series of strokes.

It was an honor for me to be with him when he took his last, peaceful breath at 3:55 pm, on this beautiful spring day. A sacred moment I’ll never forget.

Even though he wouldn’t want us to feel this way, everyone at Young Living is heartbroken by this loss. We take solace in remembering the special man who was such an iconic pioneer and messenger for essential oils and their benefits to people around the world.

Gary was the undisputed leader of the global essential oil movement. He spent 35 years studying the benefits and perfecting the extraction of essential oils, while building a billion-dollar plus global business designed to share what he deemed “the gift” of essential oils with millions of people.

His commitment to physical and emotional wellbeing, combined with his lifelong love of nature, drove him to learn everything about essential oils – from how they are produced to their wellness benefits. He was passionate about providing all of our members with only the highest quality oils, sourced from our own farms and Seed to Seal certified suppliers and partners across the globe, so that millions can enjoy the full benefits of these amazing natural gifts today.

Those who knew Gary understood that no man ever had a bigger heart or was more devoted to the betterment of humanity. His love for others, empathy, and forgiving nature were always on display across his roles as a husband, father, farmer, researcher, leader, explorer, innovator, mentor, philanthropist, and more. Gary’s “maverick” spirit, unfailing work ethic, and passion for life inspired everyone around him to be better, bolder, and kinder. He not only pioneered and created the product category of high quality essential oils as a mainstream wellness solution, but he also raised the bar for quality standards and created a purpose-driven movement that continues to sweep the globe and change millions of lives for the better.

Mary, the executive team, and I have worked side-by-side with Gary and have had many discussions about his vision for the future of the company. We are completely committed to carrying on his legacy and mission of providing Young Living essential oils to every home in the world.

Mary will continue to serve as the CEO and I will continue in my role of president and chief operating officer. In recent years, we have recruited and developed a world-class executive team. This talented group has diverse expertise across industries, from operations and manufacturing to research and marketing. This team has grown the business 800 percent over the last five years.

Our corporate staff is committed to “take action” as Gary always guided, and we invite you to join us in honoring his memory by striving every day to live by his philosophy:

“To truly accomplish our vision of taking the priceless benefits of our essential oils and oil-infused products to every home in the world, every possible effort is required. We seek ways to take positive, powerful action every day in every way. Ours is a proactive culture—never a reactive one.”

From a personal standpoint, I will miss Gary very much. He played an instrumental role in my life, helping me grow as a leader but more importantly as a man. Gary was from humble beginnings, and even as Young Living grew and experienced success, he never lost sight of his passion for helping others. Having the opportunity to work by his side for the last six years has taught me lessons about determination and the importance of relationships. I will honor our friendship by always asking myself, “What would Gary do?” to help me make important decisions. My family and I are indebted to Gary for bringing us into this amazing journey of sharing “the gift” of essential oils with millions of people. Mary, Jacob and Josef thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.

Mary will be sharing more detailed information later this week.

With Love,


Update 5/17/18

Below is an email from Gary’s wife Mary (current CEO of Young Living) that was privately sent to Young Living Diamond distributors providing more details around Gary’s final weeks and days.

Please do not share

Gary Young Report # 8

Hello, my friends,

This is the last report that I will send about Gary. Just trying to put feelings on paper is a challenge for me at this time, but so many people are feeling the pain of losing Gary that I thought I would try to answer some of your questions and give the best explanation I can with what we have experienced.

Gary was continuing to improve each day from the last stroke he had, and we were all very enthusiastic about his future. He was sitting up by himself and standing up on his own strength. He had gained about 6 pounds and was eating three good meals a day—even asking to eat—so we were thrilled with that. I made him two quarts of a special power protein drink every morning, and he would usually drink all of it throughout the day, besides taking all of his supplements; so I knew he was getting great nutrition. It was obvious because we saw him gaining strength each day.

On Wednesday, May 9, his left leg began to swell, and a hard lump was pushing against the skin. We took him to the hospital immediately and were shocked when the x-ray showed that his leg was broken. We don’t know exactly when or how, and he never complained of any unusual pain, which was probably because it was on the left side that was so affected by the stroke, so he couldn’t feel as much. He was taken by ambulance to the large trauma hospital in Salt Lake for evaluation. The orthopedic surgeon was fantastic and was very confident that he could put in a titanium rod.

Thursday afternoon, he had the surgery, which went extremely well, and the surgeon said he could start therapy the next day and stand on it if he felt like it. That was even better news than we expected, so we were making great plans for his recovery. However, his blood pressure was a little low and his heart rate a little high, so they decided to take him to ICU.

I talked with him and he was very lucid. He asked for oils, the first being Trauma Life; and then the nurse gave me a half cup of crushed ice, which he quickly chewed up and swallowed. He was doing extremely well, and we were expecting to bring him home on Sunday or Monday. Around 11 p.m., he started gasping for air. The ICU team rushed in and put a tube down his throat and kept him breathing with the breathing machine.

Friday, he was still on the breathing machine but seemed to rally a bit, and we were hoping he would be responsive enough to take him off it.

Saturday morning, he was taken for a CAT scan, which revealed that he had had another big bi-lateral stroke. He had so much brain damage that his body started to shut down. He went into lung failure, kidney failure, and was in septic shock. The doctor said he could recover from perhaps an individual problem; but putting them all together, recovery would be unlikely or very difficult. As I watched him and continued to communicate with him, I could see him struggling. One time he got so angry with the tube in his mouth that his blood pressure went up to 118. We were happy to see that, but I felt he was screaming at me to get that tube out of his mouth. It was like, “Mary, get this out. Get me out of here. Let me go.” He didn’t want to leave us, but he was trapped, which was contrary to Gary’s whole being. I felt his suffering—we all felt his suffering—and I knew I couldn’t let it continue.

Gary was surrounded by those he loved and those who loved him dearly, who he worked with, and who had traveled the world with him. I made the decision to have the tube pulled out and let him breathe on his own. Then it would be his choice. Surrounding his bed, we held hands and prayed. The spirit was strong, and I could feel such relief from him when they pulled the tube out. I know he could hear us, and he knew that he was surrounded in love; but he had had enough, and he was ready to go—to be free of his broken and tortured body.

I put my arms around him, Jacob and Josef each held one hand, and the rest held on to him to be a part of his decision. His breathing became slower and slower until it stopped. He was gone, but he passed away peacefully and was not in pain.

We all keep asking why, for which we find no answers; yet there are some answers or possibilities. We will never know the internal damage and weaknesses caused by so many accidents, traumas to his body, and that foreboding bite while in the Amazon jungle that began the decline of his health. How much damaged has he lived with since the tree hit him in the head while logging that was supposed to have left him paralyzed for life? How much more tissue was weakened until a life of intensity took him to the edge? Many of us will wonder for years what really happened, but there will never be an answer.

Gary was a driven man, a man on a mission with a vision that had no boundaries. He was always concerned about everyone else and the well-being of his company. He would never rest and went from trauma to trauma never taking time to heal because so many distributors and others were depending on him, and he couldn’t let them down.

God was his foundation and his word was his bond, and to let anyone down was to disappoint God—and he wasn’t about to do that. He called the bible his Owner’s Operator Manual. He trusted and believed in others until they proved him wrong. He always saw the best in others until their actions said something different.

Gary’s personality was bigger than life itself. His spirit filled the room, the convention hall, even to the boundaries of his farms. He always gave 200 percent, never allowed the word “can’t” to be spoken, and was always looking for the solution, the best way to accomplish the goal.

He accomplished more in his life than 100 men. He founded the essential oil movement against tremendous opposition and slander, but he never stopped in his desire to serve God’s children. He touched millions of lives for good. His work was brilliant beyond his time, which is still being proven by modern science.

He had a knowing, a destiny, that has given so much to our world. He will be a great loss to the world, to those who knew and loved him, to our two sons Jacob and Josef, and to me. I will feel a void for the rest of my life, but I know that Gary will be smiling down on us as we try to figure out the things that he already knows.

Thank you for your love and support as we go forward together keeping Gary’s flame growing brighter as we continue to be a part of the mission that he envisioned decades ago.

With gratitude and love,



  1. Lahoma Morris May 13, 2018 at 1:52 am - Reply

    Gary has already heard “well done my good & faithful servant” as all of Heaven is rejoicing!

  2. Lee Freking Pollard May 13, 2018 at 2:57 am - Reply

    I have read the book Gary Young and was so impressed with his ethics and love ! I was hoping to meet him someday but will have to wait till the heavenly gates. My heart is heavy for his family right now and my prayers are with you all!!

  3. Rose May 13, 2018 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    He was someone who inspired many. And his life’s work is a testimony of that. He will never be forgotten.

  4. Khadija Hammond May 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Farewell my brother. As we met in Egypt, I still see the vision that we both had about the blue Lotus and I will try my very best to bring it about. God bless you sweetheart may you rest finally in eternal peace which you so richly deserve. My heart is with Mary, Jacob and Yusef. I am very sad with you and want you to know that you are like a family to me and I am always here in Egypt should you want to visit

  5. Mary Salentine May 13, 2018 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Our family is beyond grateful for Gary’s work. We’ve personally visited 3 of his global farms and have seen his commitment to purity and excellence. The oils have transformed our family’s health, and we are debt free and thriving because of Young Living’s solid business model. I’ve met Gary, Mary, and their boys several times, and I’ve always been impressed with their humility and ability to treat every like family. Praying for this family as we all grieve the loss of this groundbreaking pioneer.

  6. John Kirchknopf May 13, 2018 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Gary was an amazing man. I had the opportunity to spend some time with him in Nevis and he taught me a lot of interesting things that have affected my life since then. God please welcome him into the kingdom of heaven. Rip Gary. My condolences to Mary and the family from Dr. Monika and John

  7. Robert ane Mitzie Guertin May 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Gary’s work and passion has touched many of our lives for the better and his legacy thankfully lives on

  8. Nyla May 13, 2018 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Gary was a joy and the highlight of my life to meet. Talked with him, over the years, at every convention, in Toronto when he presented the miracle of his spine healing and many many more occasions. I’m so glad to have been a recipient of his hard work and adventures throughout his life with Young Living. My prayers and God’s grace is with his family during this trying time. I look forward to watching Young Living continue to grow and hopefully someday his sons will run the company with the same determination and intregrity as Gary did.

  9. Milushe May 14, 2018 at 2:25 am - Reply

    With Great Sadness,
    and to my heart break, I am very sorry for Gary Young to leave this dimension at this young age… As we can see and learn from this one human life, one single person and his heroism can contribute to so many…all across the globe.
    What a legacy to leave behind. He will be very much missed in millions of hearts…

  10. Johnny May 14, 2018 at 2:39 am - Reply

    You mean his essential oils didn’t save him from a stroke? What a shocker.

    At least he’ll be reunited with the daughter he killed.

    Oh wait, she probably went to heaven.

    • Brenda May 15, 2018 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      Hahaha! My thoughts exactly! He sure had a bunch of people fooled, but wait! Isn’t that exactly how cults get started. I am still amazed at how many blind sheep he had in his fold!

      • Amanda October 30, 2018 at 1:04 pm - Reply

        ? What do you mean? Have you got evidence of this or romours, gossip?

  11. Jeannie May 17, 2018 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    I met Gary in 1995 at Mona Farm Utah. His passion for pure essential oils and their healing benefits caught my heart. His passion that these plants to oils had to be grown and distilled etc in the purest way to produce oils that are superior quality (the way God Made then) was truly inspiring to all. I’ll miss you Gary. You were my friend and I respected you very much in sharing your true passion of healing and young living oils. My life was brighter and healthier because you were willing to share your knowledge and love of these oils. Thank you for being real and true for us all. You have left a great legacy of love for others and I’ll miss you my friend

  12. Nadina Deling May 28, 2018 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    So thankful I got to meet him and listen to the stories he told while in So America. God Bless his family and the company. His life was filled with so many adventures. He was definitely one of a kind. 🙏🙏🙏

  13. Deb February 18, 2019 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    Dead at 68? I guess all those special drinks and vitamin concoctions and continually ingesting dangerous levels of essential oils finally was too much for the body to handle. People need to wake up and stop believing everything they’re told. Essential oils are great but they need to be respected and need to be used safely. YL’s aim is to brainwash people into believing there’s a magic cure and until it happens to you or a close family member you will never believe the truth.

    • Missy February 27, 2019 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      You’re an idiot

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