John Ilhan


John Ilhan

Name: John Ilhan

Country: Australia

Date of birth: 23.01.1965

Death: 23.10.2007

Type of business: Mobile phone retail

Main achievements: John Ilhan was a renowned businessman from Australia. He founded the mobile phone retail chain called Crazy John’s. In 2003, he was known as the richest person under 40 years of age in Australia. He was the first among Australia’s Young Rich list of Business Review Weekly in 2003. He then had an accumulated wealth of $310 million.

Something interesting about John Ilhan

The highly successful Australian businessman, a father to four children, reportedly loved to keep himself fit. His dedication to fitness could also be assessed through his participation in sports.


Born in Turkey in 1965, Ilhan migrated to Australia at the age of five years. He acquired his early education from Jacana Primary School and then continued it in Broadmeadows High School. He actively participated in sports like soccer, basketball, and football, while at school. He got married to Patricia and was a father of four children. Ilhan initially worked as a salesman at Ford and then started working at Strathfield Car Radio, an electrical and phone retail company. In 991, he set off to establish his mobile company. Gradually, he opened stores across entire Australia. His business is spread over several locations in Victoria, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Sydney.

Ilhan began Crazy John’s with a single shop and only $1000 and offered $1worth mobile phones for the first time. He took his staff to Queensland and produced colossal loyalty. He himself acted as a marketing tool for his company, arranging midnight barbeques for his customers and performing media stunts to promote his business. He had had an intense dispute with Telstra for several years, which finally halted with his agreement with Vodaphone. He sold 25% of his company recently, which was bought by investors like NAB, Selpon Group, and Smorgan family.

John had had some inspirational philanthropic activities and was known as one of the most generous people in Australia. He contributed enormously to a diverse range of charities. He established Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation, an organization for food allergy, in light of his daughter’s food allergy. The purpose of this step was to spread awareness and education regarding anaphylaxis among people where he contributed $1 million.

Furthermore, he passionately supported Australian Football League’s Richmond Football Club. He also made an offer to purchase the contract of Terry Wallace and recruit Kevin Sheedy to raise the performance standards of the team. Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation also made generous contributions to Richmond Football Club and Kids Under Cover Immunology and Respiratory Medicine,and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Stephen Dabkowsk, the Chief Executive of Ilhan Food Allergies Foundation, and Annie Reid wrote a book named John Ilhan, A Crazy Life. The book describes a biographic account of John’s life as an immigrant who earned his name as the richest man in Australia.


Ilhan died in Brighton, Melbourne, on October 23, 2007. At the age of 42, he was suspected of expiring due to a heart attack during his morning walk. However, an autopsy later revealed a different reason for his death. According to its report, Ilhan dies of a heart condition that is hereditary in his family and was the reason for his elder brother’s death too. Today Tonight broadcast his final interview right before the day he died. His death rituals were carried out in the traditional Islamic way. On October 26, 2007, his funeral took place at Broadmeadows Mosque. Three thousand people, including Eddie McGuire and Ahmed Fahour, joined his funeral.

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