February 6, 2023

Cabela’s, Inc. Co-Founder Passes

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From U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance:

(Sydney, NE) Richard N. Cabela, co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the world’s largest outdoor retailer, Cabela’s, Inc. passed away today at the age of 77.

Dick joined the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) Board of Directors in 1999 and served as Chairman of the Board since 2001. During his time with USSA, Dick and his wife Mary showed their love of our hunting heritage through their support and advocacy for issues affecting sportsmen as well as their dedication to the Trailblazer Adventure Program, a youth outdoor program of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation.

Dick, Mary, and his brother, Jim, founded Cabela’s somewhat inadvertently after offering hand-tied fishing flies through the mail. Since that time, Cabela’s has grown to be a $3.6 billion company with a worldwide catalog and Internet business and 50 stores in the United States and Canada.

“While Dick was a great leader and long-time supporter of USSA, he was also a dear friend of many in the organization,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “He built a great company from the ground up, and he will truly be missed by the USSA family and the outdoor community.”

Dick garnered numerous accolades in his lifetime, including induction into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2001, Dick was honored with the Safari Club International’s prestigious C.J. McElroy Award for his dedication to preserving and promoting the heritage and tradition of hunting. In 2007, Dick and Jim were honored by Outdoor Life magazine as being among the top 25 “most influential people in hunting and fishing.”

USSA honored Dick and his family’s leadership by establishing the Cabela Lifetime Business Achievement Award in 2005. The award honors Dick and his family’s dedication to protecting outdoor sports, including hunting, fishing, and trapping. It is presented to companies that demonstrate the same passion and commitment to protecting America’s outdoor heritage.

Dick is survived by his wife, Mary, their nine children and their families, as well as two sisters and three brothers.