Dan Eilers, VC and early Apple exec, passes away

Mar 19, 2013

Remembering Apple's original venture capitalist.

FORTUNE -- Silicon Valley venture capitalist and technology executive Dan Eilers has passed away, following a battle against bladder cancer.

Eilers began his tech career in 1982 at Apple Computer (aapl), and held such roles as chief marketing officer, vice president of strategy and director of investor relations. He also would launch Apple's outside investment activities, and run them until leaving the company in 1991 to lead Claris Corp. for four years. Eilers would then go on to serve as a CEO-in-residence with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, through which he became president and CEO of enterprise services company NAT Systems (later acquired by Cognicase), and also would lead CIDCO.

He would land with venture capital firm Vanguard Ventures in 2000, where he continued to serve as a managing director up until his passing -- focusing on a variety of information technology investments.

Vanguard sent the following statement to its investors:

We regret to inform you that our partner, Dan Eilers, passed away yesterday morning after waging a courageous battle against bladder cancer. Dan fought a most aggressive cancer with fortitude and intelligence from the day he learned of the diagnosis. His wife, Rosemary, and daughter, Megan, aided him throughout his struggle providing constant love and nursing assistance.

Dan will be sorely missed. He was a man of great intelligence, personal warmth,  high integrity and business acumen. 

Rest in peace, Dan.

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