Lilly Pulitzer Dead: Fashion Designer Dies at 81

Celebrity News Apr. 7, 2013 AT 2:30PM
Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, known for her fashion designs, passed away peacefully in Palm Beach today. Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, known for her fashion designs, passed away peacefully in Palm Beach today. Credit: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Lilly Pulitzer Shop & Share; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images (inset)

Fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer, died Sunday, April 7 in Palm Beach, Fla., the Associated Press reports. She was 81.

Her company confirmed her death in a Facebook post on Sunday. "Early this morning, Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau passed away peacefully in Palm Beach, surrounded by family and loved ones. Lilly has been a true inspiration to us and we will miss her," the touching tribute read. "In the days and weeks ahead we will celebrate all that Lilly meant to us. Lilly was a true original who has brought together generations through her bright and happy mark on the world."

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Gale Schiffman of Quattlebaum Funeral and Cremation Services in West Palm Beach confirmed Pulitzer's passing to The Associated Press. The cause of death was not known.

The socialite turned designer was known for her tropical print designs that became a hit in the 1960s. Pulitzer retired from running daily operations in 1993, but remained a consultant for her brand.

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She married Pete Pulitzer, the grandson of newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, in 1952. They divorced in 1969 and she married her second husband, Enrique Rousseau, that same year. He died of cancer in 1993. 

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"I don't know how to explain what it was like to run my business, the joy of every day," she told Vanity Fair magazine in 2003. "There's no explaining the fun I had."

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