By David Draper
Richard N. Cabela, co-founder of the hunting, fishing, and outdoor retailer goliath, Cabela’s, died Monday at his home in Sidney, Nebraska. He was 77. A true entrepreneurial American success story, Dick, as he was best known, was cared for in his final hours by his wife Mary—his longtime partner in life, business, and the field.
Born in Chappell, Nebraska, in 1936, Dick was known as a rambunctious boy who spent as much time as possible outdoors. But as young child, he was stricken with polio. Doctors told his parents that Dick might never walk again, which the couple and their young son took as a challenge more than a final diagnosis. With determination and some tough love from his parents, Dick was soon walking without assistance or the aid of braces. Throughout his life, he rarely spoke of his bout with the deadly disease, but surely it helped form the gritty work ethic Dick would become known for.