Comcast Founder, Chester County Resident Ralph Roberts Dead At 95


His life depicted the epic rise of a tiny cable company into a media empire, and now that incredible series known as the life of Ralph Roberts has ended. Today Newlin Township and all of Chester County bid the visionary Comcast founder goodbye; he died of natural causes at the age of 95.

“Ralph was a born entrepreneur, a visionary businessman, a philanthropist and a wonderful human being,” Comcast leaders said in a obituary. “Ralph built Comcast into one of America’s greatest companies, and his vision and spirit have been at the heart of Comcast and our culture for 50 years. He will be truly missed.”

The father and chairman emeritus of Comcast, the world’s leading cable TV provider, started the company in nearby Bala Cynwyd in 1963, took it public in 1972, put it on the map in 1986 by acquiring a stake in Group W and made it a household name in 2001 after buying AT&T’s cable systems, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The Roberts family called the patriarch a ‘remarkable man who touched the lives of so many people,’” the article stated.

Along the way, he helped launch QVC in West Chester and bought and restored the Newlin Township estate that he and his family have enjoyed for decades.

“The thing that motivates Ralph is not having the money but knowing that his children are secure,” his wife, Suzanne, said in the article. “That’s his legacy: not leaving his children wanting.”

That and inspiring a generation of entrepreneurs well beyond his family lineage.

“Ralph Roberts is the absolutely most clear-cut example of the American dream,” Former Gov. Ed Rendell said. “From selling belts door-to-door to creating the largest entertainment and technology corporation in the United States of America, it’s an incredible success story.

“Ralph was a tough, hard businessman, but he never forgot his obligation to help others, help his community and help Philadelphia.”

Roberts is survived by four of his five children and eight grandchildren.

“His legacy is that he left a big, vibrant company that is led by his son that will live on for many, many years,” Comcast executive Steve Burke said in the article. “As a person, his DNA is all over our company. Even though Brian is the CEO, Ralph set the tone from a business point of view.”

Read much, much more about Ralph Roberts’ story in The Wall Street Journal here and on here.


Top image courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

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