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Red McCombs

by Academy of Achievement

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Billy Joe "Red" McCombs is the founder of the Red McCombs Automotive Group, the co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, a former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, and Minnesota Vikings, and the namesake of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Born in Spur, Texas, he attended the University of Texas but dropped out of college to sell cars at a dealership in Corpus Christi during the 1950s. McCombs was immediately successful, and owned his first auto dealership at age 25. McCombs soon created one of the largest auto conglomerates in the nation, comprised of more than 50 dealerships. In 1958, he moved to San Antonio and started an automobile empire built on his "business acumen as well as his honesty, integrity, and charm as a salesman." McCombs then entered both the oil and gas exploration business and the commercial real estate development business in the 1960s, and, in 1972, partnered with a local friend, Lowry Mays, to purchase a radio station in San Antonio. That radio station grew to become the multi-billion-dollar Clear Channel Communications broadcasting empire, which now encompasses 1,200 radio stations and 41 television stations in the United States and 240 radio stations internationally. In 2000, the business school at the University of Texas was renamed the Red McCombs School of Business in recognition of his $50 million donation to the university. In 2005, McCombs and his wife Charline, donated $30 million to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, the largest gift ever made to cancer research at the institution. Red McCombs participated in the 1999 Achievement Summit in Washington, D.C. and spoke to the student delegates about his life-long passions for football and entrepreneurship.

Red McCombs
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  • Category: Management
  • Language: English

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