TS News - Cable Pioneer Bob Magness Dies

TELE-satellit News, 18 November 1996

Cable Pioneer Bob Magness Dies
  ENGLEWOOD, Colorado, USA, 1996/11/18 (TS) -- Bob Magness, chairman of the
board of Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI), the largest cable company in the
USA, died Friday night of cancer. He was 72 years old. TCI released the
following profile:

  John Malone, who was hired by Mr. Magness in 1972 and became president
and chief executive officer of TCI the following year, praised him as "a
truly remarkable person who built a company and an industry from the ground
floor up. Bob was an innovative entrepreneur who never lost sight of the
importance of every person who contributed to this company.  He was also an
extremely giving man, as well as a great friend and mentor to me. He was an
inspiration to all of us at TCI, and our thoughts and prayers are with his
wife Sharon, and their family."

  One of the cable television industry's legendary figures, Mr. Magness was
born in Clinton, Oklahoma on June 3, 1924 and graduated from Southwestern
State College in Wetherford, Oklahoma in 1949. A cottonseed salesman and
part-time cattle rancher, Mr. Magness and his first wife Betsy, who died in
1985, sold their cattle and mortgaged their ranch to enter the cable
television business. In 1956, they built their first cable system in
Memphis, Texas - with Bob climbing the poles and stringing the wires and
Betsy running the operation from their kitchen. The system served 700

  In 1958, Mr. Magness and three partners created an alliance to bring
television broadcast signals from Salt Lake City to Montana via common
carrier microwave.  The Magnesses moved to Bozeman, Montana, later that
year.  In 1965, the Magnesses moved to Denver, Colorado, with their two
companies: Community Television, Inc., the cable operation, and Western
Microwave, Inc., the microwave distribution partnership.  In 1968, the two
companies combined to form TCI.

  TCI went public in 1970, and Mr. Magness continued to serve as its
president until 1973, when Mr. Malone assumed that position and Mr. Magness
became chairman.  In the years since, TCI has risen to a leading position
in the telecommunications industry, with 14 million customers and
innovations in technology, programming and new business development.
  Mr. Magness was also an avid Arabian horse breeder.  He served on the
board of trustees of the University of Denver, the board of trustees of the
Denver Art Museum, the board of directors of the National Western Stock
Show Association and the board of trustees of the Denver Area Council of
the Boy Scouts of America.  In addition, Bob and Sharon Magness have been
active in the Denver charitable community.  Among their many recent awards
and contributions are the 1995 Volunteers of America (VOA) Humanitarian
Award; the 1996 VOA Philanthropist of the Year Award; a $10 million
donation to the University of Denver; a $2 million donation to the Boy
Scouts of America for the creation of the Magness Adventure Camp; a
$500,000 donation to Colorado Ocean Journey; support of various 4-H
projects and the hosting of an annual Christmas party for underprivileged

  He is survived by his wife, Sharon, his mother, Charlotte, his sons, Kim
and Gary, and his grandchildren, Lindsey, Tyler and Chelsea.
(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

[Other mailing list archives]