James ‘Buster’ Corley, of Dave & Buster’s, Dies in Apparent Suicide

  • The Dallas Police Department say they found a man suffering from an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound” on Monday.
  • It was later confirmed that the man was 72-year-old James “Buster” Corley.
  • Corley co-founded entertainment chain Dave & Buster’s in 1982.

The latter half of the duo who founded restaurant and entertainment chain Dave & Buster’s, James “Buster” Corley, has died at age 72.

Police said they found Corley in his Dallas-area home on Monday suffering from an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound” from which he later died, according to local news station WFAA.

Corley’s family confirmed his identity to WFAA. His daughter, Kate Corley, gave a statement to the local station that disclosed how previous health issues affected her father’s brain.

“Buster Corley had a stroke four months ago that caused severe damage to the communication and personality part of his brain,” she said. “The family asks for privacy during this time.”

A representative for Dave & Buster’s provided WFAA with a statement on Corley’s death.

“His pioneering spirit and steadfast belief that ‘everybody is somebody’ set the foundation for bringing food and games to millions of Dave & Buster’s guests over the past 40 years,” a company spokesperson told the station.

The statement continued: “Buster’s passion for hospitality, his demand for excellence, and the deep care he had for his team members were unparalleled. Our hearts go out to his family at this difficult time and while we will miss his wise counsel and his easy laugh, the legacy he and Dave built endures.”

The first Dave & Buster’s was opened in Dallas by Corley and his business partner David “Dave” Corriveau in 1982, according to a previous report from Insider. Corley was already the owner of Buster’s – an Arkansas bar frequented by “politicians, bond daddies and cocaine whores,” according to a local business executive.

Despite the dubious past of Buster’s, Corley says the bar made his huge success of Dave & Buster’s possible.

“I came to town with nothing. I didn’t even own a car. And I got the chance to go all the way — literally — to Wall Street and Times Square,” he said, according to the Insider report.

Dave & Buster’s has opened over 140 locations across the US since its founding. Corley and Corriveau sold the business in 2007 to a private equity firm, CNN reported. 

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