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June 27, 2007

Liz Claiborne dies at 78

Fashion icon Liz Caliborne passed away on Tuesday.  She was 78 years old.  Her cause of death is still unknown.

Claiborne launched her fashion company in 1976 with her husband, Art Ortenberg, and two other partners.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Art Ortenberg and the entire Claiborne/Ortenberg family on this sad occasion," said the CEO of Liz Claiborne Inc., Bill McComb, in a written statement.

"In losing Liz Claiborne, we have not only lost the founder of our company, but an inspirational woman who revolutionized the fashion industry 30 years ago.

"Her commitment to style and design is ever present in our thinking and the way we work. We will remember Liz for her vision, her entrepreneurial spirit and her enduring compassion and generosity."

Claiborne and Ortenbergstarted the company with less than $500,000 and watched it grow to what is now a $5 billion public company.

Both Claiborne and Ortenberg retired from active management of the company in 1989.

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