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Dick Smith

b. 1944

Dick Smith (b. 1944), businessman, aviator, film-maker and explorer, developed interests in radio and the bush as a boy. In 1966 he received the Baden Powell Award for fourteen years’ scouting. After dropping out of university to work for an electronics firm, in 1968 he started up the car radio installation business that would evolve into the giant Dick Smith Electronics chain. Smith, in the persona of the Electronic Dick, was the geeky face of the concern. Having sold 100 per cent of the business to Woolworths by 1982, in 1983 Smith made the first solo helicopter flight around the world, landing on container ships at sea to refuel. In 1986 he launched the quarterly magazine Australian Geographic, and was named Australian of the Year. Chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority Board from 1990 to 1992 - the year he was awarded the Lindbergh Medal – and again from 1997 to 1999, in 1993 he made the first non-stop balloon crossing of Australia. In 1999 he founded Dick Smith Foods, a business dedicated to selling foods produced in Australia by Australian-owned companies. In 2000 he made the first trans-Tasman balloon flight.

Updated 2018