Sam Wyly was raised in small-town Louisiana. In 1957, he got his MBA from the University of Michigan and began his career as a salesman for IBM and then a manager for Honeywell. Six years later, at the age of 28, Wyly was out on his own, creating his first company, University Computing, which married computer technology services to telephone technology to serve first local businesses and then multinational companies in the United States and Europe. This became the first of six enterprises that Wyly grew to over $1 billion valuations. Over the next fifty years, Wyly became one of America’s top multiple entrepreneurs, building companies in industries ranging from oil and gold mining to arts and crafts, from software to budget steakhouses and clean electricity. Wyly is a philanthropist, an avid reader, and a family man. He resides in Dallas and in Aspen with his wife, Cheryl, and has six children, twelve grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Wyly’s memoir, 1,000 Dollars & an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire, was published in 2008, and his illustrated business biography, Beyond Tallulah by Dennis Hamilton, came out in 2011.
Andrew Wyly is an entrepreneur, investor, and film producer. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, with some schooling in Switzerland, he has been a Texan by choice since 2004. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Denison University, Andrew worked as a sales agent for Green Mountain Energy and managed a portfolio for a hedge fund. He has continued his interest in political economics through participation with several think tanks. In 2007, he created the Andrew Wyly Film Company. Blood Shot, his first feature film, was completed last year.
Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Kissinger: A Biography. He lives in Washington, D.C.