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Serious Illness Led to Millionaire Darrell Freeman’s Death

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Darrell S. Freeman Sr., who served as a mentor and benefactor for aspiring Black entrepreneurs, passed away Tuesday. Darrell Freeman’s cause of death was revealed after his death at 57.

His family announced the sad news on social media that the self-made millionaire died after a serious illness at the age of 57.

Freeman built tech company Zycron Inc. and then sold it in 2017 for more than $20 million. After that, the entrepreneur invested thousands of hours and millions of dollars to help disadvantaged people go to college and budding Black entrepreneurs succeed. 

Darrell S. Freeman Sr., who served as a mentor and benefactor for aspiring Black entrepreneurs, passed away Tuesday.

Freeman said in February: “I spent the majority of my life getting money,” I want to spend the majority of the rest of my life giving. I want to use my voice, my reputation, my resources to find people and help them become better.”

He preached education as chairman of the civic group 100 Black Men and as chamber board chair. He also backed it up with money and time.

Darrell donated more than $100,000 to MTSU for programs to help 1st generation college students and also hosted free ladies’ lunches to guide women entrepreneurs from around the country.

Freeman invested in and mentored about a dozen Black entrepreneurs, including the 3nTennessee State University roommates who launched Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria chain.

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What was Darrell Freeman’s Cause of Death?

The family of Darrell S. Freeman Sr. released a statement today announcing his passing, which occurred at his Brentwood home. According to reports, a serious illness led to Darrell Freeman’s cause of death.

“Our beloved father and husband suffered from a serious illness that he succumbed to on the evening of June 28, 2022. As we navigate this unknown territory and difficult time, we ask for your prayers and privacy,” Freeman’s family said in a statement early this morning.

The family of Darrell S. Freeman Sr. released a statement today announcing his passing, which occurred at his Brentwood home.

Nashville Chamber CEO Ralph Schulz paid a touching tribute to Freeman, saying: “He was a lion of a leader, and his impact will be felt for generations.”

He continued: “Darrell was a mentor to many and was passionate about education and the doors it opened for him and could open for others.”

Longtime business community leader Jacky Akbari, who is the founder of economic development consulting firm Worthington Advisory also paid tribute to the late entrepreneur.

“He was a take-no-prisoners person that made you think about things in a way that made you go, hmmm, that’s probably right. He was a bold truth-teller,” Akbari said.

Freeman’s dad was a foundry worker and poured iron for 38 years. His mom worked as a maid. The family rented half a duplex in a Black, working-class neighborhood in Chattanooga.

No one in his family had gone to college. At 15, he followed a cousin, Kenny, to Kirkman Technical High School, where he learned to fix TVs and radio.

After finishing graduate school in 1990, Freeman started working for a small Smyrna computer repair company. He made between $12 and $15 an hour, and the company billed customers between $1,500 and $2,000 a day for Darrell’s labor.

He said: “That’s when I realized I had a skillset valuable to the marketplace.” With credit cards, about $2,000 in savings, and the support of his wife, he launched Advanced Computer Services in an office on Murfreesboro Road.

In 25 years, he built Zycron into a company with 300-plus employees. He used lots of money from the sale of that company to help young disadvantaged people start their businesses.

Slim & Husky‘s co-owner Derrick “Moe” Moore called Darrell’s support “game-changing” for 1st generation Black college students.

Moore said: “To have a mentor who’s been in their shoes, who doesn’t come from money, and then to be where Darrell is? That delivers the message they can be something and they can go further than they ever imagined.”

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous June 29, 2022

    Darrell was 57 not 75

    Reply
  2. Anonymous July 10, 2022

    He was 57 not 75

    Reply

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