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Billy Joe "Red" McCombs (born 1927) is the founder of the Red McCombs Automotive Group, a co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, a former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, and the Minnesota Vikings, and the namesake of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He was named one of Forbes magazine's top 400 richest Americans in 2005.

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Biography

McCombs was born in Spur, Texas. He attended Southwestern University and the University of Texas at Austin. While at the University of Texas, McCombs was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He married his wife, Charline Hamblin, in 1950. McCombs sold cars at a dealership in Corpus Christi during the 1950s, dropping out of college to do so. In 1958, he moved to San Antonio to create Red McCombs Automotive.

McCombs entered the energy industry in the 1960s, resulting in the Houston-based McCombs Energy. He was also been involved in real-estate through the Koontz-McCombs development company. In 1972, McCombs partnered with Lowry Mays to purchase a radio station in San Antonio. The station grew to become Clear Channel Communications.

He has previously served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Southwestern University and Chairman of the University of Texas's M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The business school at the University of Texas was renamed the Red McCombs School of Business in recognition of a fifty million dollar donation to the university.

McCombs is the recipient of the Texas Legend Award from the Texas Automobile Dealers Association and the Living Legend award from the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce. He has also been honored by the American Academy of Achievement, San Antonio Business Hall of Fame, San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame, Texas Business Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame. He has received honorary degrees from Southwestern University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Texas Lutheran University.

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Vikings ownership

In 1998, McCombs bought the Minnesota Vikings for US$250 million. After an unsuccessful attempt to replace the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, McCombs sold the team to new (and current) owner Zygi Wilf before the 2005 football season.[1]

Controversy

McCombs is also noted for his development plans at Wolf Creek ski area in Southern Colorado. The planned resort has drawn opposition due to the environmental impacts it will create. McCombs has been unsuccessful in his attempts to sway the forest service into allowing the development to get started. [2] McCombs then attempted to build a 50,000 acre casino resort at Navajo Canyon on Lake Powell. The local Navajo Nation chapters, egalitarian local governments, all unanimously rejected the casino proposal and any projects by Red McCombs. [3]

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External links

Preceded by
Roger Headrick
1991–1998
Owner of the Minnesota Vikings
1998–2005
Succeeded by
Zygi Wilf

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