Dave & Buster’s co-founder, 72, found dead in apparent suicide

An investigation remained underway outside Dallas Tuesday after a co-founder of the entertainment restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s died following an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Monday evening, police responded to a call from a home near White Rock Lake, northeast of Dallas, Texas, where they found 72-year-old James “Buster” Corley wounded after he allegedly shot himself. Local ABC affiliate WFAA reported that police transported the businessman to a nearby hospital for emergency medical treatment where he was pronounced dead.

After responding officers stated the victim had been found with an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Corley’s daughter Kate Corley, who had confirmed with the family that it was her father who had died, explained to the outlet that his way of life had dramatically changed after suffering a stroke late last year.

“Buster Corley had a stroke four months ago that caused severe damage to the communication and personality part of his brain,” she told WFAA. “The family asks for privacy during this time.”

Corley, who opened the first Dave & Buster’s with business partner David “Dave” Corriveau in Dallas in 1982 ran a restaurant nearby Corriveau’s arcade in the 70s when the duo realized they shared a customer base and decided to go into business together.

A spokesperson for the Texas-based chain that now has more than 140 locations throughout the United States and Canada attributed much of the success to Corley and stated, “His pioneering spirit and steadfast belief that ‘everybody is somebody’ set the foundation for bringing food and games to millions of Dave & Buster’s guests over the past 40 years. Buster’s passion for hospitality, his demand for excellence, and the deep care he had for his team members were unparalleled.”

“Our hearts go out to his family at this difficult time and while we miss his wise counsel and his easy laugh, the legacy he and Dave built endures,” the statement added.

While the “Dave” portion of the company’s name was readily apparent, Corley had once explained that the nickname “Buster” had been given to him at birth in honor of his father’s best friend. He went on to enter the hospitality business as a waiter before going on to run his own restaurant. In a 2020 interview with Barstool Sports “Pardon My Take” he expressed, “We were trying to do something that had never been done before, which is take the amusements business, the games part of it, and mix it with the traditional restaurant business.”

As to whose nickname would appear first, the duo had reportedly flipped a coin to make that determination. Corley had once said, “The difference between being a visionary and a fool is success.”

By Tuesday evening, the Dallas County medical examiner’s office had yet to report an official cause of death.

Corriveau died in 2015 at the age of 63.

Republished with permission from American Wire News Service


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