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John Ilhan: A Crazy Life

Steve Dabkowski, Annie Reid, Patricia Ilhan (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-0-730-37606-4 December 2011 Wrightbooks 224 Pages


John Ilhan: A Crazy Life tells the fascinating story of John Ilhan -- a working-class immigrant who overcame incredible odds to become one of the richest men in Australia. Founder of phenomenally successful mobile telephone company Crazy John's, Ilhan tragically passed away in 2007 at the age of forty-two.

As told through the eyes of his family, friends and colleagues, this poignant biography reveals new insights into the man behind Crazy John's, the wife and four children he left behind and his David and Goliath battle with Telstra.

Ilhan's inspirational journey shows how self-belief, passion and a never-say-die attitude can see you achieve your dreams.

"When you share your life with a true achiever it's hard to fully comprehend the impact they can have on the broader community. Unfortunately for my family, I learned about that impact the day John passed away."
—Patricia Ilhan, co-founder, Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation

"When John passed away we lost a truly wonderful person who was a giant at everything he did and a truly free spirit. The amazing thing was he'd only just started to make his mark on the wider community."
—Brendan Fleiter, Chief Executive Officer, Crazy John's

"...he was a migrant from Turkey who grew up in Broadmeadows and rose to a very senior position in our community. To my mind John lived until he was 100; he just did it in forty-two years."
—Eddie McGuire, President, Collingwood Football Club

About the authors.

1 Man of the people (26 October 2007).

2 A better life (1939–1973).

3 Becoming a man (1974–1983).

4 Understanding business (1984–1990).

5 Going mobile (1991–1992).

6 Let’s get crazy (1993–1996).

7 Growing pains and growing large (1996–1998).

8 John the brand (1999–2005).

9 Becoming free (2004–2007).

10 Food for thought (2005–2006).

11 Getting the balance right (2006–2007).

12 The hidden danger (2007).

13 The longest walk (2007).

14 Turning full circle (2007–2009).