Like a vast majority of AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) out there I use BrickLink all the time. Sadly, also like many of the AFOLs out there I didn’t know who had created the groundbreaking website until yesterday when I heard about Daniel Jezek’s sudden passing. Where else could you find 300 Spartans, ultra rare promo items, and the last few bricks to finish off your project. Daniel was years ahead of LEGO itself in selling bricks by the piece and he profoundly changed the hobby and the community for the better.
This is part of the Eulogy given by Daniel’s long time friend Larry Hawthorne:
We honor the life of Daniel Jezek, who departed this earth September 24, 2010. A life cut tragically short; a potential with so much more to be realized. We mourn the loss of a loving son, a young man who even in his short time with us, gave much and had so much more to give.
Dan’s book of his life had too few pages, 33 to be exact. But those pages were filled with love, compassion, giving, and a lot of accomplishment.
This budding entrepreneur looked at eBay as a model. He saw that if a website like that could do well just getting people to sell stuff, Dan would do the same for people who wanted to sell and trade LEGO bricks.
His business, Bricklink was born. For the first couple of years he called it BrickBay, an obvious reference to the eBay format. eBay got jealous when Dan’s site began to grow in leaps and bounds and made him change his name to Bricklink two years later.
Ten years later and more than 51 million visitors and counting, the business that Dan dreamed has become a reality. There are nearly 200 million websites on the Internet. Dan’s website is in the top 50,000, literally one of the most successful websites in the world. It is still running today and will forever be a living monument to Dan’s vision, his hard work and his brilliant ability to bring together his love of LEGO and his gift with computers.
He was unabashedly generous in his success, donating to many causes including relief to Haiti victims and those devastated by Katrina, and many more. It just speaks to what a compassionate, giving person Dan was.
In closing, let us remember Dan. And let his memory stay with us. A life lived fully, but ending prematurely. His accomplishments impressive, but his potential with so much more to give. We say goodbye to you loyal friend, to you loving son and we know you sleep peacefully now in the arms of our Lord.
You can read the entire Eulogy on BrickLink.
It is a sad and sudden loss for the entire LEGO fan community and my heart goes out to the Jezek family.
Thank you Daniel for all you accomplished!