TORONTO - Sam Sniderman, the founder of the legendary Sam the Record Man music store, has died.

He was 92.

A release issued today says Sniderman passed away peacefully in his sleep Sunday, surrounded by loved ones, in Toronto.

Sniderman opened his flagship store on Toronto's Yonge Street in 1959.

The iconic store with its huge flashing red neon record signs closed in 2007, seven years after he retired.

A major promoter of Canadian music, Sniderman was a Member of the Order of Canada, an inductee of the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. He also received a Governor General award and Honorary doctorates from Ryerson University and the University of Prince Edward Island.

Known widely as Sam the Record Man, Sniderman and his brother, Sid opened a small store on College Street in Toronto in 1937 and together they built a chain of Sam the Record Man stores that spanned the country.

"Sam was the last of the great Canadian showmen that were able to establish themselves as household names purely through the force of their personality", said Brian Robertson, a close family friend and Chairman Emeritus of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

"He was a mentor to literally hundreds of Canadian artists and musicians and the Yonge Street record store and Sam's presence there was the centre of the Canadian music industry's universe for over three decades."

The family says a service will be held Tuesday, September 25, and that an October Memorial Service will be announced.

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  • Sam The Record Man Ad, 1987

  • Sam The Record Man Commercial, 1989

  • Sam The Record Man Commercial Spot 1991

  • Sam The Record Man Bankruptcy

  • Sam The Record Man Closes On Yonge, 2007

  • Sam The Record Man, Final Sign Lighting, 2008

  • Daniel Lanois Performs At Sam The Record Man

  • File Photo Of Sam Sniderman