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Local TV commercial icon and Portland legend Tom Peterson dies

Tom Peterson (Facebook photo).jpg

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Tom Peterson, a popular pitchman and electronics salesman in Portland, passed away Monday following a battle with Parkinson's disease.

He was 86 years old.

Peterson opened his first home goods store in Portland at SE 82nd Avenue and Foster Road in 1964. Within 30 years, he became a legend within the home electronics sales business, selling millions of dollars in merchandise.

He wrote and starred in ads promoting his business that garnered massive popularity in the 1980s and 1990s.

"Tom had a way about him. I think that was his appeal, he was a regular guy, someone they could trust," said longtime TV personality, Paul Linnman. "The finest thing you can say about a person is that they're the same privately as they are publicly and that was Tom, just a good, solid guy, who was successful being himself."

Peterson was well-known for his catchy advertisements ("Free is a very good price!" "WAKE UP! WAKE UP!") and flat-top haircut.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria, his daughter Kathy, his granddaughters Tiffany and Chelsea, and great granddaughter Olivia Shirley.

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