back to article EMC co-founder kills himself

Richard Egan, the colourful and vigorous co-founder of EMC, went into a linen cupboard of his home at the Four Seasons condominiums on Boylston Street, Boston, and shot himself in the head with a shotgun on Friday, ending his fight against terminal lung cancer. Egan had an amazing life, encompassing involvement in the Apollo …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Living Wills

    He shot himself in the head in a closet? And that is the best we could offer him as an end?

    He even had to get in the closet, presumably to reduce the mess! FFS! Couldn't he even get an injection and die peacefully in a hospital bed?

    Sort of reminds me of Terri Schiavo, the woman who had died but was kept on life support. The same right wing extremist nutters came along and insisted they could see a twinkle in her eyes and she was trying to talk to them, but the CT scan showed her brain had atrophied.

    And when they'd finally let her die, the autopsy showed her brain had shrivelled so much it was no longer connected to the nerves to the eyes. And this was why the less loony Republicans introduced the living will clause in the Medicare bill, so people can say FOR THEMSELVES whether they want to be kept on life support or not.

    I wish the Texas nutters would pipe down and a less extreme viewpoint take over the US.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    That's hardcore!

    Hell, I will drink a few on that...

    When I go, I hope I will take a few on my enemies' list with me though.

  3. Prodigal Rebel

    @ AC

    HMMM Why do you say TeXas nutters? Do you forget that generally FIFTY percent ofthe us population votes for them right wing nutters... This whle texas has only about 5 or 10 percent of the population.

    Do you realise that the catholic church has the same view?

    Personally if wereleast an animal out of its suffering why do we have to let a human die horribly and in pains because letting them die peacefully would mean we act like god... Yet the same leaders have no problem sending your men and women into death ifthy can earn a few shekels with it

  4. TJ 3

    A true Pioneer

    .. and Entrepreneur. I'll also raise my glass to that.

    Finally, someone who WASN'T a punk kid in a dorm room.

  5. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    The "C" never used to stand for "Corporation"

    As a former employee, I can authoritatively state that the idea that Dick Egan would create a company called "EMC Corporation" (which he did) where the "C" stood for "Corporation" is laughable ("Egan Marino Corporation Corporation"???? That would have been stupid, and Dick was never that!)

    "C" was actually the third partner in the early furniture-business discussions, who dropped out before the business actually started. Something like "Cruickshank", IIRC (which I probably don't). The three met to discuss selling the furniture, which planted the idea of the "EMC" name. "C" dropped out, leaving Egan and Marino.

    As to the mechanics of Dick's death, those who try to make a political comment out of it never knew the man. Had he wanted to die in a clinic in (say) Switzerland, he would have done... but the man was Boston Irish, and the way he went seems like the way a scrappy fighter would want to go.

    RIP, Dick.


  6. bexley

    @ Prodigal Rebel

    why can we put an animal out pf it's misery but not a human? Good question. I suspect it is because humans cannot be trusted not to kill unless it is necessary, and who decides when it is necessary?

    I say give people the means to do it themselves and if they cant then go down the assisted suicide route in Switzerland.

    A shotgun will suffice though, if i get terminal cancer i want long enough to tie up my loose ends and then pass me the shotgun, better to go out like a light - so fast that you dont know your dead than to waste away in absolute agony.

    RIP to him anyway

  7. skeptical i

    Right to die

    Say what you will about Doctor Kevorkian, why is the idea of having the option to end one's life in a quiet, medically sound and sure way (via lethal injection or what- have- you) worse than having the option to end one's life in a less- guaranteed, probably more painful way (e.g., shotgun to the head, bridgejumping, "suicide by cop", &c)? If someone has decided to go, let her/ him go and have the compassion to make the exit as painless as possible, fer crineouts.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @Prodigal Rebel

    "Do you forget that generally FIFTY percent ofthe us population votes for them right wing nutters... This whle texas has only about 5 or 10 percent of the population."

    Texas has ~24 to 25 million people. The US has ~300 Million, giving Texas slightly over 8%. BTW - Texas has not always voted republican. 20 to 30 years ago it was mostly for democrats. Now the votes are ~55% Republican 45% Democrats. The way the state is run (gerrymandered) makes it such that the republicans win the most votes in the legislature (state and federal). BUT like all things this is changing. I believe the most recent state legislature was balanced - 50-50 split.

    "Personally if wereleast an animal out of its suffering why do we have to let a human die horribly and in pains because letting them die peacefully would mean we act like god... Yet the same leaders have no problem sending your men and women into death ifthy can earn a few shekels with it"

    No idea - except I think it is greed (greed for power and greed for money). The same thing that seems to drive the far wings in most poly-ticks. Too bad there is almost no center left.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Terrible it came to that...

    He no option but to end it in a such a violent way, that's the tragedy. Another case to prove the worth of assisted suicide. When my mum took a massive stroke that wiped out 40% of her brain mass and she went into a vegetative state, my father and I wished like crazy for her to die as soon as possible, there is no way we could watch her just lie there, knowing that somewhere inside her she could well have been silent screaming for someone to end it for her. Luckily she passed away within 24 hours after her brain finally shut down her respitory system.

    Pro-lifers and anti-euthanasia nutters make me sick. They would rather watch someone suffer that give people a choice to make a decision. These are the same hypocrites that kill abortition doctors while banging on about the sanctity of life!

    RIP to someone who sounds a like the last of a dying bread, a hard working businessman who made things happen by doing something and selling something with value, not just selling vacuous ideas to gullible mugs stupid enough to pay for them.

  10. kissingthecarpet

    Hang on

    to the end - thats the normal human thing to do - just in case. Just keep pumping in the opiates until I just don't care anymore....

  11. Chris C

    Most disturbing

    What's most disturbing is that he had to shoot himself in order to reduce his pain. A country cannot call itself "civilized" when it forces the terminally ill to endure constant pain merely to protect the Christians' precious "sanctity of life", particularly so when the person suffering is not a Christian. Something is terribly wrong with your religion when suicide is considered a non-forgivable sin but murder, rape, and torture are forgivable.

    If someone has a terminal illness, let them decide to die peacefully. Don't encourage it, but allow them to make that informed decision. Personally, I think this should be an option for non-terminally-ill people as well. I know that many in the medical and mental health professions disagree with me, but the decision to end your life is NOT a sign that someone is no longer of sound mind, especially when they are terminally ill. It simply means that they wish to end their pain.

    On another note, fuck Storagezilla and everyone else using the "blah-blah American" moniker. There is no such thing as an Irish American, African American, or Asian American any more than there's an American Irish, American African, or American Asian. He was an American (or, more precisely, a USian), period. And yes, I do get even more upset when people describe a brown-skinned person as "African American" when there isn't even the slightest hint that the person is from any African nation. Some of my ancestors came from Canada, but I don't call myself "Canadian American". I'm an American. No, I'm not proud of that fact (just as you Brits should not be proud of being British, given that both of our governments are pathetic, Big Brother fascists), but that's the way it is. The desire to be "politically correct" has caused much inaccuracy and stupidity.

  12. elderlybloke
    Thumb Up

    It seems he was an agressive ******

    But I would /will take the same pre-emptive strike against the grim reaper, if I get something like he had.

    Don't own a firearm any more so will have to work on what can take its place.

    He was 5 years younger than me, so I had better work out a plan soon.

    He died very rich and you can't do better than that.

  13. slack


    He sounds like a hell of a character. Condolences to Mrs. Egan.

  14. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    RIP a true legend

    Anyone who played an important part in Apollo is a legend.

  15. MondoMan

    Clarifying the timeline

    Contrary to what the article suggests, PCs were "invented" in the 1970s, well before EMC was founded. Perhaps you meant "the IBM PC"?

  16. Andus McCoatover


    I'd probably have done the same, in his shoes. Median lifespan for stage 4 lung cancer after diagnosis is about 8 months.

    Opiates don't always relieve pain (horrid story I heard about my friend's mother crawling naked on all fours in hospital, screaming and begging to be killed. She'd taken Paraquat for a suicide attempt, but not quite enough), and stage 4* lung cancer sounds pretty awful. At least he acheived more in life than most of us.

    * NOT for the squeamish.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like the Hemingway of computing...

    Proof though that no matter how rich you are, how great life can be, in the end you're f#cked. The great equalizer.

    I hope I have the guts to do the same if ever diagnosed with something as nasty as terminal lung cancer. I think I'd choose something a little less messy though.

  18. Paul Simmonds

    Hijacked again.

    Would the people who hijacked this obit please apologise to Chris who put this together and to Dick's family. This is not the place to discuss the rights or wrongs of how he ended his life and to hijack it to discuss politics or such matters as assisted suicide is wrong by every conceivable measure.

    To Dick's family and previous associates, my condolences. I drink to the man's life.

  19. Mark C 1

    RIP ... a real legend

    Title says it all but as with Paul Simmonds above can everyone with a political agenda just fuck off somewhere else?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Paul Simmonds

    What? Man commits suicide; story posted on news site with commenting available; comentards discuss suicide. I fail to see what is wrong.

  21. Andus McCoatover

    @Paul Simmonds

    Don't see any hijacking of an obituary here. I read only praise for the bloke. As I wrote earlier, he probably achieved more in his lifetime than I could dream of. I believe that was the concensus of all the prior posters.

    "By the pricking of my thumbs, something trollish this way comes"

    Now, go away*. In (likely) short, jerky movements.

    *(Two words about sex and travel readily spring to mind...I don't need to elucidate, you'll get it. Given time. And a life.)

  22. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Always fun!

    Whatever else you say about EMC's "hardball" sales tactics, I did used to enjoy working with EMC because they did what they said they'd do, and I understand a lot of that sentiment came from the top. I never met Dick Egan but I heard some great stories, it sounds like the guy deserved respect.

    As for the only-Christian-right-wing-religeous-nutters-stop-assisted-suicide schpiel, some posters may want to consider that there are other faiths that also promote against suicide (though one in particular claims you will be rewarded if you blow yourself up / crash an airliner into a building in the "Propehet's" name - go figure!).

  23. The First Dave

    Military Service

    Why the mention of the Military angle? There is always more to any story than what gets reported in the press, but what was listed here sounds embarrassing: going AWOL is never something to be proud of.

  24. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Contrary to Public Opinion .... to be Filthy Stinking Rich ....

    ... is a Constant Measure of One's Intellectual Inability to Conquer a Selfish Nature and make a Difference?

    "He died very rich and you can't do better than that." ... By elderlybloke Posted Monday 31st August 2009 02:11 GMT ...Oh Yes you most certainly can, which must put all those other poor hoarders of global wealth firmly in the spotlight and branded as being Unfit for Future Purpose.

    Hmmm? How disgraceful, elderlybloke. ....."Mr. Carnegie hammers home his message about the responsibility of millionaires to give away their fortunes: "The day is not far distant when the man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was his to administer during life, will pass away un-wept, un-honored and un-sung . . . Of such as these the public verdict will then be: 'The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.'"" ..... Andrew Carnegie, a great giant amongst mortal men ...

  25. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    A difference

    "why can we put an animal out pf it's misery but not a human? "

    One of the complicating factors though is that cats and dogs don’t leave wills. At least we can be fairly sure Mr Egan took his own life. Can’t say I blame him though, having watched someone close to me gasping for breath as if they had just run a marathon because of lung cancer.

    And yes, there should be a more dignified way of doing this.

    Off Topic but......

    "forces the terminally ill to endure constant pain merely to protect the Christians' precious "sanctity of life", "

    Ha Ha, it’s worse than that, here in Ireland when they announced the possibility of a vaccine for cervical cancer, the “moral right” complained that such a vaccine would promote sexual promiscuity. Our daughters may die from cervical cancer, but at least they will die good Catholics.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Here's to American hard ass Irish folk

    Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling

    From glen to glen, and down the mountain side

    The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying

    'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.

    But come ye back when summer's in the meadow

    Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow

    'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow

    Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

    And if you come, when all the flowers are dying

    And I am dead, as dead I well may be

    You'll come and find the place where I am lying

    And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

    And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me

    And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be

    If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me

    I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

    I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

  27. Dave Harris


    That's one hell of a CV

  28. MnM

    maybe better without the comments after all

    Wasn't entirely sure about the comments to begin with, but with AC's breaking in to song, I wish the allow comments box had gone unticked.

    Didn't know the guy, never dealt with his company, but was interested to read a brief obituary, and would have liked to have read more comments from people with something to say about him. Most of them detract from the article and from the memory of the man.

    I will say, though, for those discussing right to die, that this seems to have been a unilateral act that didn't require the acquiesence of his family, or anyone. I don't see why people assume he would have considered a clinic an alternative. He did this himself.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A good man

    *Raises a Stout in honor of a man I never knew*

    I despise white collar management types since 99% are damp, limp wristed slaves to corporate culture and protocol. Mr. Egan seems to be in the 1% I wouldn't mind working for. Someone who speaks directly and to the point is a rare commodity nowadays, especially in management.

    My condolences to his family.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "He died very rich and you can't do better than that."

    Respectfully, I beg to differ.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK seems a cool dood to me

    And here is to his existence and presence in the mind of deity (choose your own if you wish).

This topic is closed for new posts.