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Co-founder of Cabela’s dies at 77

Sidney, Neb. -- Richard N. Cabela, co-founder and chairman emeritus of the $3.6 billion, outdoor outfitters chain, Cabela’s Inc., died Monday at his home in Sidney, Neb. No cause was given. He was 77.  

Cabela served as chairman of the board until June 2013, when he transitioned to chairman emeritus and his brother, Jim Cabela, became chairman.

Cabela founded the company in 1961 with his wife, Mary, and his brother. He is survived by his wife and their nine children and their families, as well as two sisters and three brothers.

“Dick and Jim made it possible for sportsmen and women to get quality outdoor products no matter where they lived,” said Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO. “They weren’t the first to offer outdoor goods through the mail, but nobody did it better or with more care about providing customers a good value for their money. Outdoorsmen and women have lost a true friend, a man who improved their lot by putting them first, by working to provide what they wanted and needed for their hunting and fishing adventures. He pushed for research and development in every outdoor field.”

According to Millner, Cabela always looked out for the customer and if he couldn’t find a vendor to provide what he wanted, he pushed Cabela’s to design and make it. Because of that passion, the Cabela's brand and its products are iconic throughout the world, Millner said.

“The outdoor industry has lost an innovative thinker and a tireless supporter of wildlife and habitat conservation; the business world has lost a true original, who built a business model that will be studied and emulated for years; a man who, through perseverance and hard work, achieved the American Dream,” Millner said.

In addition to its worldwide catalog and Internet business, Cabela’s operates 50 stores in the United States and Canada.

© 2014