CHANDLER, Ariz. — Dan Holt, founder and publisher of RV News magazine, passed away peacefully at his home this morning, RV News reported today.
“Dan will be remembered for his passionate advocacy for the industry and his willingness take up the causes of the underdog both personally and through editorials in the pages of RV News,” said current publisher Don Magary.
“Dan was a true pioneer in our industry. I entered this industry in 1996 when I started writing for RV News. I had the pleasure of working with Don Magary to lead the campaign that led to Dan’s induction into the RV Hall of Fame,” said Bob Zagami, with RV Insights and a former writer for RV News. “As one of the few truly independent journalists of their time, they had bruised a few egos along the way and all of it was justified. We were able to secure support letters for his place in our industry’s history from some of Dan’s strongest critics.
“We knew that despite their disdain for some of his stories, they had the utmost respect for his integrity and willingness to write about the industry issues that others would not even talk about,” he added. “It was often said that Dan and Don wrote what others would like to say, but knew they couldn’t. I learned a lot from Dan during the years I worked for him and know that I would not be doing what I am today if I had not paid my dues learning from one of the best journalist that ever covered the RV industry.”
“We were saddened to learn of the passing of Dan Holt today. Dan was an exceptional journalist, an astute businessman, a dedicated volunteer for many RV organizations, and a passionate advocate for the RV industry,” said Richard Coon, president of the RV Industry Association. “His career and life exemplified the tremendous entrepreneurial spirit that is one of the hallmarks of the RV industry. On behalf of our members, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
Holt launched RV News in August 1975 as a west coast regional tabloid newspaper focusing on the RV aftermarket and grew the publication to a highly respected national RV trade magazine and led the magazine until he retired in October 2005.
“Dan was a visionary that made several major contributions to the RV industry both as an entrepreneur and a volunteer,” said Magary. “He donated his time and energies to help the industry through the years by his service to many national RV associations such as the RV Dealers Association and Warehouse Distributors Association, which is now the RV Aftermarket Association.”
Holt was co-founder and CEO of Web Site Management, Inc., a company that help pioneer the use of the Internet by companies in the RV industry, and launched RV America On Line, one of the most successful portal web sites for RV related information, he added.
He founded the first national RV aftermarket trade show, which he eventually sold to RVDA and exists today as RVDA’s RV Expo, held annually at their national convention. He was also the founder of RV Technician magazine, which he also sold to RVDA.
Dan was honored in 2001 by being inducted into RV/MH Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the James Baker Memorial, WDA/RVAA’s Man of the Year Award, in 1993. The inscription on the Baker award sums up what Dan contributed to the industry. “In grateful recognition for his contribution and service to the aftermarket industry,” it read.
“Dan was so much a part of my life over the past 30 years that is difficult for me to believe that he’s gone,” said Magary. “He was more a partner and friend; he was more like a brother. I was an honor to know him and I will miss tremendously.”
Dan is survived by his wife, Carmel, son, Sean, and several grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
SOURCE: RV News press release