Richard Egan (businessman) : biography
Richard John Egan (February 28, 1936 in Milton, Massachusetts – August 28, 2009 in Boston) was an American businessman, political fundraiser and US Ambassador to Ireland.
Following significant fundraising for George W. Bush's presidential campaign in 2000, Egan was one of 19 Bush Pioneers to become an ambassador; his sons Christopher and Michael are also Pioneers.
A year after receiving a degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University in 1962, he was on the team that helped develop Project Apollo memory systems for NASA. He was a major donor to the state-of-the-art Egan Engineering and Science Research Center on Northeastern's campus. He served as helicopter crewman in the United States Marine Corps during the end of the Korean War, he worked at Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, and Intel before founding EMC Corporation.
In 1979, he founded EMC with Roger Marino, his college roommate. The two initially sold office furniture in order to raise money to build the company with only a handful of employees. EMC eventually became Massachusetts's largest technology company and had more than 40,000 employees by 2009.
In 1994, Inc. Magazine named Egan "Master Entrepreneur of the Year." He also received the Medal of Honor Society's Patriot Award, the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award and was one of Irish America magazine's "Top 100."
Egan retired on January 17, 2001 as Chairman Emeritus in order to accept an appointment by President George W. Bush to serve as the United States Ambassador to Ireland. On March 14, 2001, he was nominated and he served from August 2001 to December 2002.
Egan was a leader in numerous educational, business and technology groups, serving as director of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and Business Roundtable, director of the New York Stock Exchange Advisory Board, and founder of the Hopkinton Technology for Education Foundation in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, where EMC is based. He donated part of his fortune to the Boy Scouts of America as well as health and education groups. He played critical role in the creation of the Maureen and Richard J Egan Engineering Science Research Center at Northeastern University, his alma mater. He also started an engineering center in Israel to help develop the company’s products and was credited with greatly improving Israel’s technology infrastructure.
Egan also received honorary degrees from Northeastern University, New England Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster, supported numerous charities and established the Hopkinton Technology for Education Foundation.
In its 2005 list of the Forbes 400, Egan was ranked as the 258th richest American, with a net worth of approximately $1.3 billion.
A long-time resident of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, Egan committed suicide at his Boston residence on August 28, 2009 aged 73, while suffering from Stage IV terminal lung cancer. According to his family, he also suffered from emphysema and diabetes.]] He is survived by his wife, Maureen, and their five children.
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