News Column

Family, friends remember magicJack inventor, soccer figure Dan Borislow

July 26, 2014

By Charles Elmore, The Palm Beach Post, Fla.



July 26--More than 500 friends and family remembered magicJack inventor Dan Borislow on Friday as a bold innovator who did it his way without a lot of sugar-coating but touched millions of lives with his products and passions.

"Dan was boat-rocker," his older brother David said. "He was always looking for a better way to do something."

Once a cable TV installer, he pioneered a way to make phone calls on the Internet that led to sales of more than 10 million devices, landing him in a Palm Beach home and what his wife Shelly called "a fantasy life."

Close friends recalled wanting to choke him at times even as they praised his achievements and generosity. He inspired an outpouring of tributes for his efforts promoting soccer and charitable giving such as contributions to the families of the Newtown shootings.

"We love you, Dan," said women's soccer star Abby Wambach, telling family members, "I'm here for you all."

Borislow owned the South Florida magicJack team, which included Olympic gold medalists Wambach and Hope Solo, and backed youth soccer and educational scholarships.

Borislow, who was 52, died of a heart attack Monday, collapsing after play in an adult men's soccer league in Jupiter.

He loved to have the last word, younger brother Andrew said. He was also fond of "the horses, fishing, tequila, the Rolling Stones and I heard he loved to gamble just a little bit." Just two months ago, he won nearly $7 million on Gulfstream Park's Rainbow Six jackpot at Palm Beach Kennel Club.

His brothers remembered getting texts from Dan saying "I just won $7 million at a horse race" and no one being the least bit surprised.

Friends who knew him from childhood told of being so poor in early business ventures they stripped the wooden furnishings from a residence to burn them in a fireplace to stay warm. But in time he would sell products "that made life easier for millions," brother David said.

Family members said they have been overwhelmed with testimonials from people who said Borislow encouraged and helped them.

Son Danny said "he never sugar-coated anything" but gave his family every advantage. Daughter Kylie called him "my hero" and said of her own budding soccer career, "every goal I score is for you."

Borislow leaves a mark in telecommunications with millions of magicJack devices promoted on TV and shipped from a West Palm Beach warehouse. He told The Palm Beach Post in 2012 he got emails from servicemen who thanked him for magicJack because otherwise they wouldn't be able to communicate with their families. Borislow predicted, "There's always going to be a place for magicJack."

A crowd packing a Kravis Center ballroom saw a slide show of pictures from his life and heard songs ranging from "Danny Boy" to "Wild Horses."

His wife Shelly addressed her late husband: "I'm so sorry you're not here to enjoy the life that you built."

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(c)2014 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

Visit The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) at www.palmbeachpost.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Palm Beach Post (FL)


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