‘Crazy Eddie’ Antar Dead At 68

The end of an era in CE retail and Big Apple lore
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Eddie Antar, the mastermind behind New York’s infamous Crazy Eddie CE chain, died on Sept. 10 at the age of 68.

Eddie Antar, the mastermind behind New York’s infamous Crazy Eddie CE chain, died on Sept. 10 at the age of 68.

According to published reports, his death was confirmed by a New Jersey funeral chapel although the cause was not disclosed.

 Through a combination of fraud, chutzpah and an irritating, decade-long TV pitch, Antar turned a Brooklyn A/V shop into a 43-store, $350 million goldmine during the 1970s and 1980s.

But soon after taking the business public he was charged with fraud and embezzlement; went on the lam with over $100 million; and eventually served seven years in a federal prison.

The chain was liquidated in 1989.

Several attempts to revive the business or leverage its name failed, including a reported bio pic development deal with actor/producer Danny DeVito.

Although it would become a black mark on independent tech dealers, Antar’s Crazy Eddie was a prime component of New York City’s late 20th century zeitgeist and helped make electronics top-of-mind with consumers.

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