David Shakarian (February 27, 1914 – September 11, 1984) was the founder of the American company GNC (General Nutrition Centers), a nutrition company now widely known among professional athletes and people leading a healthy lifestyle.
Shakarian from an early age assisted his family business and in the 1930s turned their small shop into a Pennsylvania-based chain of health products and vitamin stores. Initially a small shop, the Shakarian business would grow into an entire chain of sports nutrition stores throughout the US and well beyond.
Already in 1941, five stores of the Shakarian family were operating in Pittsburgh. Over the years, the Armenian family business would gain momentum, and the number of Americans wishing to buy food for a healthy diet would only increase.
The success of the Pittsburgh chain of stores led to an expansion of GNC’s geography in the 1960s when America was embraced by a mania of healthy eating. It was during these years that the American entrepreneur of Armenian descent earned his multi-million fortune.
In the 1970s, Forbes magazine estimated Shakarian’s wealth at $530 million.
David Shakarian was also actively involved in real estate investments. In the late 1970s, he acquired a huge estate in the Bonita Bay area (Florida) whose value would reach $1 billion in the following years. Aside from that, Shakarian began to invest in the developing infrastructure of the tourist city.
David Shakarian died of cancer in 1984, and after his death, his family decided to sell the company he had established. At the time of Shakarian’s passing, GNC owned 1,200 health food stores all over America and Canada.
Currently, GNC Holdings Inc. continues to remain a giant in the American sports and fitness nutrition business, and it has about 6,000 stores in the US and 49 other countries around the world.
Story of success of David Shakarian