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Dick Smith

From Academic Kids

This article is about an Australian entrepeneur. For the article on the author, see Dick King Smith.

Dick Smith (born 18 March 1944) is an Australian businessman and aviator. In 1968, he founded electronics retailer Dick Smith Electronics. In 1982, he sold the business to Woolworths, although the business still retained his name in the business title and his image as the company logo.

In 1983, he made the first solo helicopter flight around the world. During the trip he landed on container ships at sea to refuel. Also during the 1980s, he founded the magazine Australian Geographic, a National Geographic-style magazine focussing on Australia.

Smith has also attempted a number of well-publicised practical jokes, the grandest of which was the "attempt" to tow an iceberg from Antarctica to Australia to obtain more fresh water. He won the 1986 Australian of the Year. He is a prominent member of the Australian Skeptics, and supported research into water divining.

Smith founded Dick Smith Foods (DSF) in 1999, marketed as a crusade against foreign ownership of Australian food producers, particularly Arnott's biscuits. DSF only sells foods produced in Australia by Australian-owned companies. Dick Smith products are often named to parody the items they compete with — for example, in competition with Redheads matches, Smith sells near-identically packaged matches called Dickheads.

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