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Published on March 26th, 2015 |

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Atlanta high-tech giant John P. Imlay Jr. dies of heart attack

Atlanta’s master investor, John P. Imlay Jr., died of a massive heart attack at home on Wednesday morning. A minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons franchise, he is credited with helping create two of Atlanta’s biggest tech industries — software and Internet security.

John P. Imlay Jr.

John P. Imlay Jr.

Until the end, Imlay was a favorite candidate for tech event keynotes, where his folksy wit and stories about Atlanta’s tech history and its characters left audiences cracking up, according to a report by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

“Atlanta would not have had a technology industry without John,” said Tom Noonan, who has known Imlay for decades. “John was the person that inspired all of us to dig deeper and reach higher. He’d back it up not only with his investment, but with his friendship and mentoring.”

Imlay built one of the most successful software companies — Management Science America Inc.— which proved to be an incubator for technology executives and startup companies in Atlanta, giving birth to more than 300 CEOs and nearly 100 companies.

“(Imlay) had a unique ability to motivate, inspire and entertain entrepreneurs, athletes and audiences,” said John Yates, partner at Morris, Manning & Martin and Atlanta tech industry kingmaker. “John’s legacy will live on through hundreds of entrepreneurs, executives and friends who will remember his kindness, generosity and remarkable leadership talents.”

Imlay, who dreamed of one day owning a business in Georgia, started out as a computer salesman working for several companies, including Honeywell.

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