Theo Albrecht was the German business wunderkind who built the Aldi supermarket empire alongside his brother Karl. In 2010 it was revealed they had a combined fortune worth over $40 billion. Rather than becoming famous public figures, however, the brothers were always extremely private. In fact, Theo became a recluse following a bizarre 1971 incident in which he was kidnapped by a debt-ridden lawyer and a burglar.
Albrecht was born Theodor Paul Albrecht in Schonnebeck, Essen, which is in the Ruhr region of Germany. His birth in 1922 came along two years after his older brother Karl. Their father was a miner who became unable to work after falling victim to emphysema and this prompted their mother to open a small food shop to provide for the family.