Tony Hsieh: Was Zappos Founder About to Enter Rehab in the Final Hours?

Hsieh had realized that he needed help and was planning to enter a rehab clinic in Hawaii the night before he died on November 27.

Zappos founder Tony Hsieh was disturbed and troubled with his drug and alcohol addiction and spent the final hours contemplating entering a rehab, new reports claim. Hsieh's struggles with drugs became more pronounced especially this year and it took a toll on his mental health which was further affected by the social-distancing protocols enacted due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

In the final hours, Hsieh had realized that he needed help and was planning to enter a rehab clinic in Hawaii, the night before he died on November 27, his friends have claimed in a report in the Wall Street Journal. Moreover, the friends also said that Hsieh was nervous and quite unstable on that fateful night.

A Troubled Life

Tony Hsieh
Tony Hsieh YouTube Grab

Sources told the WSJ that he sounded quite troubled hours before his death. Just after entering his girlfriend's property, he asked his friends to check on him every five minutes and that he was nervous. Hsieh reportedly died after locking himself in a room at the Connecticut home he was staying at when fire broke out on November 27. However, the cause of the fire is still under investigation although authorities say his death was accidental resulting from smoke inhalation.

However, the 46-year-old millionaire's life was anything but normal over the past few years. And it only deteriorated for the worse as days passed. Hsieh, according to the report, developed a strange obsession of experimenting with his body. He developed a fascination for experimenting with things like how long he could live without food and oxygen.

Moreover, he was also obsessed with fire. A real-estate agent reportedly told the outlet that he saw around a 1,000 candles in Hsieh's Park City, Utah, home. The eccentric Hsieh, who sold his business for $1 billion to Amazon in 2009, also liked to use a heater in his girlfriend's shed to decrease his oxygen level, sources told the media outlet.

Almost Suicide

Hsieh with pet Alpaca
Hsieh with pet Alpaca YouTube Grab

Hsieh's strange lifestyle was an indication that he wasn't stable during the last days. His unusual experiments with life left most of his friends doubting his mental state. According to a report I the Daily Mail, Hsieh would often inhale nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to try to reduce his oxygen use. Too much intake of nitrous oxide can even lead to death.

His friends also claim that Hsieh would often go on a 26-day alphabet diet, in which he would only eat foods starting with a single letter each day, such as "a'' the first 24 hours, "b'' the second, and so on and nearly fast on those days when a fruit's name didn't start with a particular alphabet like "z."

Things took for a worse after he retired from his role at Zappos in August 2020. In fact, his life was completely opposite from what he projected to the outer world. He wrote a book 'Delivering Happiness: A Path To Profits, Passion and Purpose', which went on to become a bestseller.

The book talks about how to achieve happiness and success but while he both directly and indirectly delivered on making other people smile, Hsieh was silently coping with issues of mental health and addiction. Friends and family who understood his crisis, tried to intervene but that didn't help much. "He fostered so much human connection and happiness, yet there was this void," a close friend told Forbes.