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BREAKING: Jaycar Founder Johnston Dead At 72

Gary Johnston, owner and founder of Jaycar, has passed away at the age of 72 after a short illness.

The multi-millionaire (pictured above left, image from @SaveOurSons on Twitter), who employed around 1000 people across 146 Jaycar and Road Tech Marine outlets, is understood to have died yesterday.

Johnston, a former Dick Smith employee, founded Jaycar in 1981 and built the group into a successful electronics retail empire with stores across Australia and New Zealand.

Jaycar CEO Michael Newsom expressed his condolences in a media statement, saying he was “deeply saddened by Gary’s sudden and untimely passing”.

“The Group has a strong Management team in place to continue Gary’s unique legacy and it is business as usual as we remember Gary and all he has achieved, not only in retailing but in his many other pursuits and philanthropic interests,” he said.

Adrian Gilchrist, a former Jaycar employee and family friend, wrote on Facebook that Johnston had picked him up after the job market “chewed him up and spat him out” in 2005, adding Johnston had “welcomed him into the Jaycar family” more than once.

“Gary, thank you for your respect, guidance, support and friendship. Like the many lives you made better during your time on this planet, I have never [been] able to put into words just how much of a difference you made to mine,” he said.

Johnston’s wealth was estimated at $587 million by The Australian in 2019.

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