Comcast founder Ralph Roberts has died. He was 95.
His death was announced Friday by the company.
Roberts, who also served as the company’s chairman emeritus, founded Comcast when he bought a small cable system in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1963. From there, the company grew to the country’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers.
“I just think I’m an example of what you can do in America starting with very little, and if you have a good determination, and you’re honest about what you do, you can be successful,” Roberts said in an earlier interview.
“Ralph was a born entrepreneur, a visionary businessman, a philanthropist and a wonderful human being. 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,” the company said in a statement. “He will be truly missed. Ralph’s greatest love was his family, and our deepest sympathies go to his wife Suzanne and the entire Roberts family.”
His son, Brian Roberts, now serves as the company’s chairman and CEO.
Ralph was a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and served in the Navy, according to his company biography.
“Ralph Roberts has had a remarkable life, and a consistent one, too,” Brian Roberts said in the foreword to the biography “An Incredible Dream” by William Novak. “In every setting—whether in the office, over dinner at his favorite greasy spoon, or painting a schoolhouse wall during Comcast Cares Day—he has always been optimistic, warm, and encouraging.”
“Whenever I’ve seen him at the podium with his self-effacing smile, I’ve had the say thought: Sometimes the good guys really do finish first,” Brian Roberts continued in the 2012 book.
“Ralph was a remarkable man who touched the lives of so many people. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and perhaps most importantly, a kind and humble human being. He will always be remembered for his generosity, integrity, honesty, kindness and respect for everyone around him. He was an inspiration to us all and we will miss him greatly,” his family said in a statement.
Ralph is survived by his wife of over 70 years, Suzanne Roberts, and four children. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, the family’s statement said.
Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.