Herbalife International was founded by Mark Hughes in 1980 when he developed a new vitamin-rich, herbal-based protein shake mix for weight loss after his mother died while desperately trying to lose weight. The company does not sell through retail stores, or on the Internet (Unless independent distributors choose to to do so.), instead Herbalife works on a multi-level marketing idea where the products are sold through independant distributors who through word of mouth or certain other means (i.e. mailing advertisements) get other distributors under them, and so on. The company is not without legal problems. Early on it faced the State of California for deceptive advertising and agreed to take 2 products off the market. Another legal woe are the often lawsuits by distributors for "breach of contract."
Today Herbalife is a multi-million dollar company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Sadly Mark Hughes died in 2001 at the age of 44 after taking some medication that had deadly consequences with the slight bit of wine he had drank that night. This followed a serious bout of pneumonia he had recently.