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John Hendricks

by Academy of Achievement

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John Hendricks was a university fundraiser when he first conceived the idea for a cable television channel devoted to documentaries and educational programming. Borrowing against his home, he gathered $25 million from 30 individual investors and unveiled the Discovery Channel in 1985. Today, Hendricks is the Chairman of Discovery Communications, the world's number one nonfiction media company. Hendricks has been honored with a Primetime Emmy Award and with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences highest honor, the Governors Award, for conceiving the TLC series, Great Books. The Ark Trust named him a recipient of the Genesis Award for lifetime achievement for his efforts in raising awareness around the globe about animal issues. Hendricks has also been recognized as the first corporate leader to receive the National Education Association's Friend of Education award for "innovations in education and technology and greatly expanding educational opportunity for America's schoolchildren." Today, Discovery is also a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and offers a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including As of 2011, Discovery's broadcast services reach more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in 210 countries and territories, through 130-plus worldwide television networks, including the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery. This podcast, recorded at the Academy of Achievement's 1997 Summit in Baltimore, Maryland, opens with a video presentation of Discovery's first years. In his address to the Academy's student delegates, Hendricks relates how he conceived a passion for documentary film as an undergraduate at the University of Alabama and came to create a new, dedicated outlet for documentary programming.

John Hendricks
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  • Free
  • Category: Business
  • Language: English

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