Zara Co-Founder Rosalia Mera Dies From Stroke
The co-founder of fashion chain Zara, Rosalia Mera, one of the richest women in the world, has died after suffering a stroke on holiday.
Ms Mera, 69, fell ill while on holiday in the Balearic island of Menorca.
She was transferred to the private San Rafael hospital in Coruna, northern Spain, where she died Thursday evening, a hospital source said.
She had been on holiday in Menorca with her daughter Sandra.
Ms Mera was listed by Forbes this year as the world's 195th richest billionaire with a fortune of £3.9bn.
She was the highest-placed among Spanish women and was also described as the richest self-made woman in the world.
Ms Mera quit school at the age of 11 and started work as a seamstress at 13 before going on to found the Inditex textile giant alongside her husband Amancio Ortega.
The pair later divorced. Mr Ortega is listed by Forbes as the world's third-richest man with £36bn.
Inditex released a statement expressing the group's sadness over her death.
"The group wishes to send its sincere condolences to her loved ones and friends at this extremely difficult time, after the loss of a person who contributed so much to the origins and development of the company," it said.
Besides Zara, the Inditex group owns a number of successful international brands including Massimo Dutti and Pull and Bear.
Ms Mera had left the Inditex board in 2004 but kept a 5.05% stake in the firm, according to Spanish news reports.
She also held 30.6% of hotel chain Room Mate, it said.