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RIP Vidal Sassoon: 5 Things You Might Not Know About the Man Who Revolutionized Haircare

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Vidal Sassoon died yesterday after a battle with leukemia. The legendary hairdresser and beauty icon was 84, and he crammed a whole lot of living into his years. He is credited with inventing some of the world's most enduring haircuts, including the bob, and creating many successful haircare products. But there's more to him than just beauty. Here are a few things you might not know.

1. His early years were marked with sadness. Sassoon's father abandoned his young family, and even though his mother wanted to raise her son he was placed in an orphanage for about eight years until finally being reunited with his mom and stepfather. He quit school at 14 and started as a hairdresser's apprentice.

2. Although he was born and raised in London, Sassoon (who was Jewish) volunteered to join the Israeli army in 1948 and help the country fight its Independence War.

3. Though his military career was relatively short lived, Sassoon was always politically active against fascism and anti-Semitism. He founded the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, which is located at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in 1982.

4. He almost gave up on hair as a profession. When Sassoon first got started, he gave himself a ten year limit and said that if he couldn't change the industry within a decade he would quit and become an architect.

5. Though he would go on to style and cut the hair of many a celebrity, the cut that he became most famous for was Mia Farrow's pixie in Rosemary's Baby. The famous photo of Sassoon cutting Farrow's hair was published all over the world and helped Sassoon become a name in Hollywood.
· Legendary Hairstylist Vidal Sassoon Dies [CNN]
· Sassoon [Official Site]