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PARKLAND, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) — The woman who founded Weight Watchers has died at 91.

Jean Nidetch died Wednesday near Fort Lauderdale. Her death was confirmed by her son, David Nidetch.

Nidetch was a New York housewife when she founded Weight Watchers in 1963 after beating her own weight battles using dieting tips she learned at a city health clinic. She packaged those into a fun format where dieters met and worked together.

By the following year, classes were held across New York, with dozens of participants going on to lead sessions of their own. A cookbook sold millions. By Weight Watchers’ 10th birthday, it was so popular that 16,000 people attended a gathering at Madison Square Garden.

When she and two partners sold the company in 1978, they received almost $71 million.

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