Pet rock inventor dies at 78

Gary Dahl, the man behind that scheme — described variously as a marketing genius and a genial mountebank — died on March 23 at 78. A down-at-the-heels advertising copywriter when he hit on the idea, he originally meant it as a joke. But the concept of a “pet” that required no actual work and no real commitment resonated with the self-indulgent ’70s, and before long a cultural phenomenon was born.

Pet rock inventor

Gary Dahl in 1975 with the Pet Rock, a product that sold for $3.95 and made him a millionaire practically overnight.

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