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  • List of Famous Dead People: Category - Business

    Andy Grove: Born: 1936-09-02 - Died: 2016-03-21
    Andy Grove was a businessman, and was considered a pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He was known as one of the of the founders and CEO of Intel. He was integral in turning the company into the giant it became.
    Ray Tomlinson: Born: 1941-04-23 - Died: 2016-03-05
    Ray Tomlinson was a computer programmer known for implementing the first email program on the ARPNET system, which was the precursor to the Internet. This was in 1971. It was the first system able to send mail between users on different hosts. Before that, mail could only be sent between users of the same computer. […]
    Aubrey McClendon: Born: 1959-07-14 - Died: 2016-03-02
    Aubrey McClendon was the founder and CEO of American Energy Partners, LP as well as the co-founder and retired CEO and chairman of Chesapeake Energy. He was also an advocate for natural gas and a part-owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
    Vincent Marotta, Sr.: Born: NA-NA-NA - Died: 2015-08-01
    Vincent Marotta, Sr. was the co-founder of Mr Coffee, which stemmed from a coffee delivery company called North American Systems (NAS) in the early 70s. Marotta is credited with having the idea to create an automatic drip coffeemaker. The machine was released for home use in 1972 with the Mr. Coffee brand.
    Faigy Mayer: Born: NA - Died: 2015-07-20
    Faigy Mayer was the founder and CEO of Appton, a New York-based application development startup responsible for a number of apps for Apple’s iOS operating system. Mayer was a graduate student of Accounting at CUNY, and had previously worked at META Kreative, Broadway Suites, and The Jockey Club. At the time of her death, her […]
    Josh Greenberg: Born: NA - Died: 2015-07-19
    Josh Greenberg was the co-founder of once-popular online music service Grooveshark, which at one point had 40 million users a month and 145 employees. He also helped train entrepreneurs and programmers through Grooveshark University. He also co-founded MaidSuite.
    Satoru Iwata: Born: 1959-12-06 - Died: 2015-07-11
    Satoru Iwata was a Japanese businessman who served as the President and CEO of Nintendo. Iwata joined the company in 2000 and became President just two years later. During Iwata’s tenure, Nintendo developed the DS and Wii consoles.
    Jack Steadman: Born: 1928-09-14 - Died: 2015-07-05
    Jack Steadman was a football executive who was chairman, vice president, president, and GM for the Kansas City Chiefs. He retired in 2007.
    Burt Shavitz: Born: 1935-05-15 - Died: 2015-07-05
    Burt Shavitz was a beekeeper and businessman, and the founder of the Burt’s Bees line of balm, soap, and other personal care products. His business partner, Roxanne Quimby, purchased his stake in the company in 1994. Clorox purchased Burt’s Bees in 2007.
    Matti Makkonen: Born: 1952-NA-NA - Died: 2015-06-26
    Matti Makkonen was an engineer from Finland, who worked for Nokia and Tele Finland, as well as Finnet Oy. He is best known as the “Father of SMS” and is credited with inventing text messaging, though he often said that he didn’t do so single-handedly.
    Ralph Roberts: Born: 1920-03-13 - Died: 2015-06-18
    Ralph J. Roberts was the founder and longtime CEO of Comcast Corporation. In 1963, after serving in the U.S. Navy, Roberts and his partners, Daniel Aaron and Julian A. Brodsky, bought American Cable Systems – a small cable operator based in Tupelo, Mississippi – for $500,000. Within a few years, Roberts turned that into Comcast […]
    Kirk Kerkorian: Born: 1917-06-06 - Died: 2015-06-15
    Kirk Kerkorian was an American businessman who was one of the most influential tycoons in Las Vegas. Kerkorian opened the International Hotel in 1969, the MGM Grand Hotel in 1973, and the MGM Grand in 1993. When each opened, they were the largest in Las Vegas. Kerkorian was also a Hollywood Mogul and an aviation […]
    Dave Goldberg: Born: 1967-10-02 - Died: 2015-05-01
    Dave Goldberg was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and CEO of online survey company SurveyMonkey. Before that, Goldberg founded LAUNCH Media in 1994 – a company that was later acquired by Yahoo. He was married to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
    Jean Nidetch: Born: 1923-10-12 - Died: 2015-04-29
    Jean Nidetch was the co-founder of Weight Watchers, the company that provides good and services to aid in weight loss. In the early 1960s, Nidetch started a support group with several overweight friends, which eventually became the Weight Watchers organization. It was sold to the H.J. Heinz company in 1978.
    Melvin Gordon: Born: NA - Died: 2015-01-20
    Melvin Gordon was CEO of Tootsie Roll Industries for fifty-three years. His Chicago headquarters was called a “modern-day Willy Wonka factory” by the Wall Street Journal. The company makes not only Tootsie Rolls, but Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Fruit Chews, Tootsie Frooties, Caramel Apple Pops, Child’s Play, Charms, Blow Pop, Candy Carnival, Cella’s chocolate covered […]
    Howard Schultz: Born: N/A - Died: 2014-12-29
    Howard Schultz was the founder and CEO of Lighthearted Entertainment. He created and executive produced reality shows Dating Naked, Extreme Makeover, and The Moment Of Truth as well as others.
    Ralph Henry Baer: Born: 1922-03-08 - Died: 2014-12-06
    Ralph Henry Baer was known as the “Father of Video Games”. He was considered a pioneer in the field, and wrote an outline in 1966 talking about how people could play games on a TV. He developed and patented several hardware prototypes, including the Magnavox Odyssey. He was awarded the National Medal of Technology in […]
    Nelson Bunker Hunt: Born: 1926-02-22 - Died: 2014-10-21
    Bunker Hunt was an American oil executive who amassed a large fortune in in the 1960s and 1970s – somewhere around $16 billion. By the end of 1979, Hunt had lost the majority of his fortune when silver prices collapsed. For the previous decade or so, Hunt had been amassing huge amounts of silver. Known […]
    Gary S. Becker: Born: 1930-12-02 - Died: 2014-05-03
    Gary S. Becker was an economist, a professor or economics and sociology at the University of Chicago as well as a professor at the Booth School of Business. He won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He was one of the first economists to branch into racial discrimination, crime, family organization, and drug addiction.
    Ralph Wilson: Born: 1918-10-17 - Died: 2014-03-25
    Ralph Wilson was the founder and owner of the NFL franchise the Buffalo Bills. His roots in American football run much deeper than that, however, as he was also one of the founding owners of the American Football League. The AFL and the NFL merged in 1970.
    William Clay Ford, Sr.: Born: 1925-03-14 - Died: 2014-03-09
    William Clay Ford was the owner and chairman of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, having purchased a controlling interest in the team in 1963. As the grandson of Henry Ford, Clay Ford served as a member of the Ford Motor Company’s Board of Director until 2005.
    Richard Cabela: Born: 1936-10-08 - Died: 2014-02-17
    Richard Cabela, 77, was the co-founder of Cabela’s outdoor sporting goods equipment. The business focused on hunting and fishing which led to an empire of stores and licensing deals. One of the more prominent uses of the Cabela’s license has been the creation of an annual video game franchise based around deer hunting.
    Edgar Bronfman Sr.: Born: 1929-06-20 - Died: 2013-12-21
    Edgar Bronfman Sr. was a Canadian-American businessman who served as the CEO of the Seagram Company from 1971 to 1994. He also served as the President of the World Jewish Congress from 1981 to 2007. Bronfman was known for being an outspoken advocate of Jewish causes.
    Mike Hughes: Born: NA - Died: 2013-12-15
    Mike Hughes was the former president of The Martin Agency. He joined the agency in the late seventies, and held the role of creative director for 30 years. He became president in 1995. He’s responsible for the Geico Cavemen (which even got a TV show at one point) and the company’s Gecko mascot. He also […]
    Milton Olin Jr.: Born: NA - Died: 2013-12-08
    Milton Olin Jr. was director of operations for of famous P2P file sharing service Napster between 2000 and 2002. He was also an entertainment lawyer.
    Paul Orberson: Born: 1956-12-18 - Died: 2013-12-5
    Paul Orberson was best known as the founder of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, a multi-level marketing company that was shut down in 2013 for being a pyramid scheme. Orberson grew up in Danville, Ky and later attended Western Kentucky University. He began his career as a high school teacher and basketball coach before making millions working […]
    Joy Covey: Born: 1963 - Died: 09-18-2013
    Joy Covey, 50, was an Internet pioneer and former CFO of Amazon when it was just an online bookseller. She attended both Stanford and Harvard Universities before joining up with Amazon in 1996. She stayed with the company until 2000. Her most recent work was with the National Resources Defense Council where she served as […]
    Hiroshi Yamauchi: Born: 1927-11-07 - Died: 2013-09-19
    Hiroshi Yamauchi was the third president of Nintendo, helming the company from 1949 to 2002. He is credited with turning the card-making company to the gaming giant that we know today. Yamauchi stepped down in 2002, handing the company over to Satoru Iwata. Yamauchi was also the majority owner in the Seattle Mariners and on […]
    Eiji Toyoda: Born: 1913-09-12 - Died: 2013-09-17
    Eiji Toyoda was a Toyota Motor Corporation executive and a founding member of the company’s Toyoda family. He served as the company’s president from 1967 until 1981, and then served as Toyota chairman until 1994.
    Ray Dolby: Born: 18-01-1933 - Died: 12-09-2013
    Ray Dolby was an American sound engineer who perfected recordings heard in iconic films such as “A Clockwork Orange” and “Star Wars”. He started Dolby laboratories in 1965 and won a Grammy, two Oscars, and several Emmys for his work in the field of sound.