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.
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.