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Gary Richrath Net Worth | Wife

Gary Richrath Net Worth – $1 million

What was Gary Richrath’s net worth at the time of his death? Who was Gary Richrath married to?


Gary Richrath (birth name – Gary Dean Richrath), nicknamed – Gar baby, was an American former songwriter and guitarist for the rock band ”REO Speedwagon” from 1970 to 1989.


Richrath was born on October 18, 1949, in Peoria, Illinois, to Eunice and Curtis Richrath.

He had played saxophone in the school band.

At age 15, Richrath received his first acoustic guitar as a gift from his uncle Leroy (who played country-western music).

During an interview, he recalled:

”The first music things that I heard was, oh, Everly Brothers kind of thing and a lot of country guitar.”

Richrath went on to say:

”My uncle was a country guitarist, and he gave me a guitar and said, “Learn how to play this; it’ll keep you from starving,” and I said, “Great!”

In 1967, Gary graduated from East Peoria Community High School.

In 1968, he started to play in a band named – ”Suburban 9 to 5.”

REO Speedwagon

Starting in 1970, Richrath was part of the rock band ”REO Speedwagon” as a guitarist and songwriter.

Gary had a distinct guitar-playing sound that dominated the REO Speedwagon’s music.

The band was famous for its power ballads – the best-known are I Can’t Fight This Feeling and Keep on Loving You.

REO Speedwagon had also released several successful albums, including “Hi Infidelity,” which sold more than 10 million copies in the US.

Over the course of its career, REO Speedwagon has charted 13 Top 40 hits and has sold over 40 million records.

Gary Richrath biography

Neal Doughty, Gary Richrath, Bruce Hall, Alan Gratzer, and Kevin Cronin (from left to right) – © Guliver / Getty Images

Gary even sang on some of the band’s early hits, including:

  • Take It On the Run;
  • In Your Letter;
  • Only the Strong Survive;
  • Flying Turkey Trot;
  • (Only A) Summer Love;
  • Wild as the Western Wind;
  • Son of a Poor Man;
  • Find My Fortune;
  • Ridin’ the Storm Out;
  • Golden Country.

In 1989, Richrath left the band due to his growing musical differences with other band members as well as alcohol abuse.

REO Speedwagon replaced him with Ted Amato.

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New Band

Gary Richrath Cause Of Death

Image source – © Guliver / Getty Images

After he left REO Speedwagon, he started a new band called – ”Richrath.”

In 1992, the band released the album titled – ”Only the Strong Survive” on GNP Crescendo Records. The album featured Michael Jahnz on vocals.

They toured nationally for several years after ”Only the Strong Survive” was released.

The band had 11 Top Forty hits as well as two No. 1 singles – Can’t Fight This Feeling and Keep on Lovin’ You.

In 2013, Gary rejoined REO Speedwagon for a concert in aid of the residents of Bloomington, Illinois, who had been displaced by heavy storms. During the concert, the families affected by the storm sat near the stage. They raised over $300,000.


Gary Richrath married his wife Justine in 1985.


Gary has a son named Eric.

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Death & Cause Of Death

Gary Richrath died on September 13, 2015, in Louisiana. He was 65 years old. Richrath was under a healthcare professional’s care when he died.

Kevin Cronin, a former bandmate in REO Speedwagon, wrote about the cause of Gary’s death:

“Gary was both a unique guitarist and songwriter, and the embodiment of the tough guy with a heart of gold.”

Cronin later added:

“He had some stomach problem or something, and he went in the hospital to get treated for a stomach ailment, and there were complications and he didn’t make it.”

Neal Doughty, REO Speedwagon founder and keyboardist, stated:

“My bandmates and others have been telling their favorite stories about Gary and here is mine: The last time I saw him, he was happy.”

Doughty continued:

”When we reunited for a benefit concert in 2013, the bad feelings which had surrounded his departure from REO had finally evaporated. We joked around like no time had passed. We were friends again.”

Alan Gratzer, a former REO drummer, said:

“Gary was my musical soulmate and great friend for many years. We made over fifteen albums together and went through a lot both personally and musically.”

Gratzer went on to say:

”I’ll always miss him, but will cherish the memories of being in the studio, being onstage and just living life on the road. I feel like I lost a brother.”

During a later interview, Kevin Cronin said that REO Speedwagon will be:

“dedicating every show we do for the foreseeable future, probably forever, to Gary.”

Cronin continued:

”Every song we play, Gary’s all over it for me; we either wrote it together, produced it together, rehearsed it together, arranged it together, fought over parts that we played.”

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Gary Richrath Net Worth

Image source – © Guliver / Getty Images

In 2015, a petition was started to have Gary inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Gary Richrath – Net Worth

Richrath earned most of his wealth from being part of the rock band REO Speedwagon. After he left REO, Gary made some money from his touring with a band that he started.

Therefore, at the time of his death, Gary Richrath had an estimated net worth of $1 million.

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Daniel Ramirez

Tuesday 29th of November 2022

Best show ever. SUPER BOWL OF ROCK. '77. Soldiers Field Chicago.. REO and, of course Gary's guitar playing stole the show. Will never forget. The BEST OF TIMES.


Sunday 30th of October 2022

You know who reminds me of Rich today in 2022? Joel Hofstra. Plays at a very high level of skill. Enjoyable, normal person in every other way. Anxious to share his skill (Of course Joel has the benefit of the internet).


Tuesday 27th of September 2022

Gary was the best guitar player, he had to have been born with that Les Paul in his hand, He was my crush, though he was much older than I, so under rated, Watching him on stage, when he went into his solo? Just wow! I miss him.

Michael J Walkup

Tuesday 5th of April 2022

I was the lead guitar player that Gary replaced in 1969 to start his career in Champaign, Illinois which eventually landed him in REO Speedwagon.

In 1969 I helped form a band in Champaign called Feathertrain. We did a lot of Three Dog Night stuff and had three lead singers. I was the lead player and Dana Walden, who later did well for himself in a group called "Champaign" was our keyboardist. The original bass player that I had brought into the band from my former acid rock group had to be replaced and we got a high school student named Bruce Hall. Bruce was too young to be in some of the clubs so he had to be spirited out the back if there was a raid.

The band did really well thanks to our agent, Irving Azoff, and we got to the point where we were expected to play 6 nights a week plus a rehearsal on Sundays. This was too much for my pre law studies in college so I announced that I would need to drop out to cram for finals, think that was a safer career bet. "Who ever heard of a 40 year old rock n roll star" I said.

At that point the other band members learned of a guitar player in Peoria, so when we were playing a gig there we interviewed him backstage. He showed up with a Les Paul guitar but no amplifier so we had to just watch as his fingers flew with blinding speed over the fretboard. I said, if he sounds as good as he looks, you should hire him.

A couple of weeks later the band invited both Gary and the original REO lead player, Bill Fiorio (later known as "Duke Tomato") to audition together. The band picked Gary and the rest is history.

Gary and I were born only a week apart and I mourn his passing.

Scott M

Friday 11th of March 2022

I can't believe Roll With the Changes isn't in the list of top songs. It's my favorite song of all time.