Sunday, March 18, 2012


March 18 is the birthday of a well-known Australian, born in ...

Dick Smith1940 Dick Smith, Australian businessman, adventurer, filmmaker, aviator, explorer and philanthropist. He made a fortune in domestic electronics (Dick Smith Electronics, similar to Tandy), and has given millions to charity, frequently shaming his fellow millionaires publicly for their greed.
Concerned by the massive loss of Australian businesses to transnational corporations, he launched a range of products, including many foodstuffs, that are completely made and owned by Australians. When the famous national icon, Redheads matches, was sold to overseas interests, he launched a new brand of wholly Australian-made and owned matches, and named them … Dickheads.

Dick Smith is well known in his home country not only for his business acumen and genuine patriotism, but also for his philanthropy, his activities in the Australian Skeptics Association, and for his sense of humour and occasional hoaxing, such as the Sydney Harbour iceberg hoax

In 1987, I was in the waiting room of the new offices of Australian Geographic, in Terrey Hills, Sydney, having recently helped the man, new to editing, with some magazining tips while he set up the new magazine. I'd just stopped editing Simply Living magazine, and was looking for a job, but unfortunately didn't get one. I heard an employee say 'Pip', and I looked up. I hadn't known Dick's wife was named 'Pip' too.


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