Young Living Founder D. Gary Young (1949-2018) was known for his ambitious spirit. Raised in a one-room cabin in the mountains of Idaho, he had a passion for discovery and wellness that brought him to distant corners of the world—from lavender fields in southern France to desert ruins in Yemen to rainforests in Ecuador. Gary had just one focus: Uncover all he could about essential oils. He made it his life’s work.
Beginning in 1985, he began studying with prominent aromatherapists, perfumiers, and historians. He learned about the wellness potential of essential oils, ancient and modern distillation methods, and the history of essential oils, woven throughout the stories of ancient civilizations.
He also discovered a wide disparity in essential oil quality. He realized he needed to work with oils of the highest purity and potency, so he established a set of standards that later became the Science pillar of our Seed to Seal quality commitment. It was this standard that guided Gary as he and his wife, Mary, established their first lavender farm in St. Maries, Idaho. Two years later, in 1994, they founded Young Living Essential Oils.
Relying on Mary’s keen, human-focused business instincts and on Gary’s vast knowledge of botanicals, distillation, and essential oil analysis, they built Young Living, today known as the pioneer and standard bearer of the modern essential oils movement—one that has enhanced and empowered lives around the world by sharing the benefits of essential oils.
A hands-on leader, Mary serves as the CEO of Young Living, leading the executive team and empowering members. She also plays a key role in the D. Gary Young, Young Living Foundation’s outreach efforts.