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‘Pet Rock’ Creator Avoids Limelight Since 1975 Phenomenon

November 14, 1988 GMT

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ The creator of the ″Pet Rock″ says he has spent the last 13 years avoiding publicity and dealing with ″a bunch of wackos.″

In 1975, Gary Dahl was a typical advertising executive from Los Gatos when he came up with the idea of selling the rocks. The Pet Rock vanished by Valentine’s Day 1976, but not before Dahl had sold 1.5 million of them at $4 each.

″No one will ever do it again,″ said Dahl, referring to the phenomenon that swept the country.

Dahl, 52, is still in advertising but won’t say where. He avoided interviews for years because of what he called ″a bunch of wackos″ appearing out of nowhere with threats and lawsuits.

″I really don’t know how they find me, but they do,″ he said.

″It makes me a lot more cynical,″ he said. ″It made me too high profile. There’s a bizarre lunatic fringe who feel I owe them a living. I don’t know if it’s been an asset or a liability.

″Sometimes I look back and wonder if my life wouldn’t have been simpler If I hadn’t done it,″ he said.