Richard Egan, EMC Co-founder, Dies at 73

8/29/09Follow @wroush

[Updated, August 29, 1:40 pm---see below]

Xconomy is saddened to note that Richard Egan, the “E” in EMC, has passed away. The co-founder, with Roger Marino, of the Hopkinton, MA-based data storage and information management giant, Egan was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer in May. He died at his Boston home yesterday, according to an extensive article in the Boston Globe and other press reports.

When Egan and Marino started EMC in 1979, their first product was office desks for computer users. The company began selling memory boards in 1981, for thousands of dollars per megabyte. It grew into a Fortune 500 company with 40,000 employees around the world; its flagship Symmetrix storage systems are found in the data centers of hundreds of large corporations, and its myriad software products are used for everything from data center virtualization to security, document management, and online backup. EMC’s success made Egan a billionaire.

“Thirty years ago this week, Dick founded EMC with his partner, Roger Marino,” EMC president and CEO Joseph Tucci said in a statement quoted by the Globe. “Dick’s vision became one of the world’s top technology companies, and his legacy will live on through the tens of thousands of lives he affected in so many positive ways.’’

A major fund-raiser for the Republican party, Egan was named by President George W. Bush in March 2001 as the United States ambassador to Ireland. He served in the position for 15 months.

[Update, August 29]: The Boston Herald, citing police and other sources, reported on its website today that Egan died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His nurse reportedly heard the shot and called 911, the account said.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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