Apple Store

RIP Gary Allen “Apple’s biggest fan.”

Gary Allen
// Gary Allen

Today The Apple Store’s “fan base” is forever smaller, Gary Allen founder of (currently down) died on Sunday from brain cancer. Gary has visited about 142 Apple stores in 11 of Apple’s 15 retail countries according to a archived version of, I was privileged to meet Gary while spending my time in the 5th Ave Apple Store opening.

There are plenty of goofballs — like me — who stand outside Apple stores all night waiting for the company’s latest, thinnest, must-have offering.

There was nobody like Gary Allen, who died Sunday from brain cancer at 67.

Allen didn’t care so much about Apple’s new products (though he bought many of them.) He cared about the stores, the sleek and often innovative ways Apple presented itself to the world — the winding staircases, the floor-to-ceiling glass, the exposed brick.

Allen, a retired EMS dispatcher, traveled around the world — obsessively and expensively — to be among the first in line at the company’s new stores. He attended more than 140 openings, collecting all sorts of trivia. He could even tell you where Apple store tables are made (Utah; he stopped by the factory once to say thanks).

The history of Apple’s global conquest is stamped in Allen’s passport. Michael S. Rosenwald / Washington Post

Thank you Gary for all you have done to unite fans like me, you will be missed.

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