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Tech Data Founder Dies At Age 80

Edward Charles Raymund, the founder of Tech Data Corp. and father of longtime Tech Data CEO Steve Raymund, died Dec. 9, according to the distributor. A charter member of CRN's Industry Hall of Fame in 1997, Raymund was with family and friends when he died at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Calif. He was 80.

Edward Charles Raymund, a charter member of CRN's Industry Hall of Fame in 1997, was with family and friends when he died at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Calif. He was 80.

Raymund founded Tech Data in 1974 and sold the "side business" to his son for $10,000 about a decade later. Edward was a contract representative for electronics manufacturers at the time and wanted to concentrate on other business when he made the offer to Steve. "I needed a general manager. I've got this other business to run and can't spend full time on this Data thing," Edward told CRN in 1999, when Steve joined his father in the Industry Hall of Fame.

Raymund remained as chairman of Tech Data until 1991 and subsequently held the title of chairman emeritus. In his early days with Tech Data, Raymund was known to host parties for employees when they sold $1 million in a month. Tech Data, now led by CEO Bob Dutkowsky, is a $23.4 billion distributor and serves 90,000 companies across the Americas and Europe, according to the Clearwater, Fla.-based company.

Edward Raymund started his career as an electronics manufacturer's representative in Southern California. Eight years later, he saw more opportunity across the country and made a big move. "I saw an emerging market in the Southeast, so I moved, lock, stock and barrel, with my wife and four little kids down to Florida," he told CRN in 1997.

By the late 1960s, Raymund was stocking and distributing high-volume sockets and capacitors in a precursor to the Tech Data business. "The line that really made Tech Data profitable and possible was a company that was called Textool, now a part of 3M. This was kind of a classic Adam's rib type of company," Raymund said in 1997.

Tech Data got its start selling computer memory cassettes, 8-inch floppy disks and printer ribbons to end users. When the IBM PC hit the market in the early 1980s, Tech Data added monitors, printers and add-on cards, eventually landing a medallion to sell the PC itself. "We saw that there was a tremendous business evolution that was occurring. Between Steve and I, we understood there was a revolution in the making," said Raymund in 1997.

Raymund was born Aug. 26, 1928, at Hollywood Hospital in California and attended high school in Los Angeles and then the University of Southern California. He was a supporter of USC's football team and also was involved in numerous charities and organizations, including Noble Vikings of Orange County Charity, Mission Hospital, St. Margaret's Episcopal School, the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society, The Boys and Girls Club of San Juan Capistrano, the OJAI Museum of Art, Newport Sports Museum, and the Defense Orientation Conference Association.

Raymund is survived by his wife, Tricia Raymund, a young daughter, Mary Madison Raymund, as well as his son, Steve, and three grown daughters, Lena Rogachevky, Karen Marder and Suzanne Zigun with his late wife, Annette Raymund, and 13 grandchildren.

A prayer service will be held at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., on Jan. 10, 2009 at 5 p.m. with a reception following the service at Marbella Country Club.

In lieu of flowers, the Raymund family has requested that donations may be made to St. Margaret's Episcopal School, in care of the Edward C. Raymund Memorial Fund, and/or the University of Southern California, in care of the Edward C. Raymund Endowed Fund.

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