Gator Cases Founder Passes Away
Jerry Freed, founder of Gator Cases, passed away on Nov. 13 after a bout with cancer. He was 74.

Freed was an entrepreneur and innovator in the audio and MI industries, bringing energy and insight to numerous roles during his 50-plus-year career in the industry as a sales rep, product strategist, importer and manufacturer.

After attending from Drake University in 1962, Freed began his career as a salesman for the Roberts Tape Recorder Company, representing a line of reel-to-reel recorders manufactured in Japan by Akai Electronics. Freed then went on to launch Califone amplifiers, a division of Roberts, and left after Califone was purchased by Rheem in 1967.

Eventually Freed co-founded International Music Corporation (IMC), which went on to partner with Samick, Akai and Charvel/Jackson.

In 1989, Freed left IMC to form Freed International, marketing and representing various MI brands, before founding Gator Cases with his daughter, Crystal Morris, in 2000.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Gail, daughter and son-in-law, Crystal and Bob Morris, and two grandsons, Trey and Ryan.