Well-known Columbia businessman and activist Joe Azar has died. Azar was the owner of Upstairs Audio for more than four decades, located at 746 Harden St. in Five Points. He was also known for his interest in local politics, having run for mayor and Columbia City Council. Azar was 67-years-old.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin tweeted a statement about Azar Monday morning:

“City of Columbia City Council just observed a moment of silence in memory of Joseph Azar. We all had opportunities to agree and disagree with Joe over the years but we never doubted his LOVE of Columbia, SC. #RIPeace Joe,” his tweet read.

Similarly, CEO of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Carl Blackstone, also released a statement regarding Azar’s death:

“So sorry to hear o the passing of Upstairs Audio owner, Joe Azar. He was opinionated and passionate in everything he believed in. Joe also loved Columbia, SC and he did his part to make it a better place to live. #RIP.”

It has been reported that Azar’s health had been declining. He was battling cancer.

Categories: Business, Columbia, Richland County

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