The Consumer Technology Association’s “Digital Answerman,” Jim Barry, died on Friday after a long illness. He was 71.
Barry traveled the country over the last 22 years on behalf of CTA, showcasing and explaining technology products to consumers via TV and radio appearances along with newspaper interviews. The industry veteran was also a former editor of Dealerscope, and of Video Magazine. In his journalistic career, he witnessed and covered many of the industry’s seminal product introductions, including the VCR, DVD and Digital TV. He also started the Contract Publishing Division of Crosby Vandenburg Group in Boston, creating and producing custom magazines for ESPN, WGBH, Massachusetts Hospital Association and others.
“Jim was a remarkable person who was dedicated to and passionate about our industry. As a tireless media spokesperson, he helped introduce millions of consumers to the latest tech innovations,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Jim was respected by everyone he worked with including manufacturers, retailers and the media and made many friends along the way. Jim also was a respected journalist who covered our industry in a thoughtful and insightful style. Along the way, he helped mentor many of our staff, educating them and igniting their passion for our industry. The entire CTA family will miss him dearly.”
Barry served as a judge for the Consumer Technology Hall of Fame since the inception of the program in 2000. A strong industry advocate and historian, he contributed his industry expertise as well as his personal relationships to the judging process. Barry also served as an Innovation Entrepreneur Awards (IEA) judge each year since the program began in 2012 and was a frequent contributor to CTA’s publications including i3 and Digital America.
A native of Ridgefield Park, N.J., he lived in and embraced Boston as his adopted hometown and was an avid supporter of the Boston Red Sox.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kate, and two daughters, Moira Rose and Fiona.