West Texas Born Self- Made Billionaire Dies, 95, At San Antonio Home
Billy Joe McCombs, aka Red McCombs, passed away aged 95 at his San Antonio home, ABC 13 reports.
Red McCombs was West Texas born in Spur, Texas, about 70 miles east of Lubbock. Imagine being born in the small town of Spur to a family of modest means, to eventually owning the San Antonio Spurs. That's a meteoric rise if I've ever heard of one.
Red McCombs began building his career in earnest by co-owning a car dealership in San Antonio. That's also where his truly generous philanthropy began, as he, "served as chairman of the trustees at Southwestern University and chairman of the University of Texas's M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston." He also gave generously to other philanthropic causes, particularly to the University of Texas at Austin, among others.
Red McCombs co-founded the radio giant Clear Channel Communications in 1972 (now rebranded as iHeartMedia), which at one point owned the group of radio stations from which I am writing this. The company now owns 850 AM and FM stations.
While I am nerd-ing out on that information, you might be more interested in Red McComb's other acquisitions, primarily sports teams. McCombs was an " essential development to the success of the [San Antionio] Spurs" but sold off his stake in the Spurs to buy the Denver Nuggets, which he held onto in 1985. In 1998 he purchased the Minnesota Vikings, which he then sold in 2005. He also had interests in horse breeding and racing and has a corner in the Circuit of the Americas, which hosts several racing competitions, including NASCAR.
Certainly, Red McCombs left an indelible mark on sports, broadcasting, medicine, and education. His is a spirit as big as Texas- his birthplace and home.