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Picture of Lake Stevens, WA, Joe’s store in 2009. | Credit: Wikipedia

North Portland — Norm Daniels the former CEO of G.I. Joe’s outdoor store died on January 9th from brain cancer, according to an obituary published in The Oregonian. He was 72.

According to the story, Daniels was one of seven children from a working-class family in St. Johns, and he never graduated from college. Instead, he worked his way up at G.I. Joe’s from an after-school job in 1964 to its CEO by 1992 and majority owner in 1998. 

Under his leadership, he built G.I. Joe’s into an Oregon institution with 31 stores around the Northwest, which grew to have 1,600 employees and $240 million in annual sales. I bought my first camping tent at the Kennewick store. The chain closed during the 2007 recession. 

His impact on the community can’t be understated. He was an early supporter of Portland State University’s athletics, and sponsor of the IndyCar Series race, the Grand Prix of Portland, at the Portland International Raceway. Under his leadership, he also established the G.I. Joe’s Foundation, which provided grants for renovating school ballfields or providing team uniforms, as well as charitable organizations. 

A graduate of Roosevelt High School, Daniels also helped organize an annual golf tournament for decades to raise scholarship money for students at the school.

HIs family will hold a private gathering to honor him. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a larger celebration of life will be held at a later date.