Big Red: Memoirs of a Texas Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Big Red: Memoirs of a Texas Entrepreneur and Philanthropist


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Red McCombs has, in his words, "dabbled in automobiles, cattle, oil and gas, broadcasting, insurance, racehorses, motion pictures, real estate, politics, minor league baseball, and pro football." The successful businessman is also the cofounder of Clear Channel Communications, the former owner of two professional basketball teams, and a noted philanthropist. Published by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, Big Red is a candid first-person account of the life and times of this extraordinary Texan.

Based on a series of oral history interviews with Dr. Don Carleton, the book begins with an account of McCombs's childhood in the West Texas town of Spur, where he first went into business for himself at the age of ten by selling peanuts to farmworkers. McCombs started selling cars in Corpus Christi in 1950, and before long he was one of the most successful Ford dealers in the country. He moved to San Antonio in 1958 and built a business empire, always looking for his next great deal. Through all of his wheeling and dealing, however, McCombs says he's signed only one lifetime contract—with his wife, Charline.

McCombs's candid views on why U.S. automakers floundered, as well as his insights on the development of the highly successful Clear Channel Communications, are among the many behind-the-scenes accounts he relates about his remarkable life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780976669753
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 01/28/2011
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Car dealer and businessman RED MCCOMBS is cofounder of Clear Channel Communications, the former owner of several professional sports teams, and a noted philanthropist.

Dr. DON CARLETON is executive director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

Table of Contents

Foreword Mack Brown vii

Introduction Don Carleton xi

Chapter 1 Spur 1

Chapter 2 Persuasion with a Tennis Racquet 13

Chapter 3 Heart Like a Wheel 27

Chapter 4 Life with Edsel 37

Chapter 5 All in the Family 53

Chapter 6 Iacocca and the Big Three Follies 59

Chapter 7 Spurs and Nuggets, 1973-1985 73

Chapter 8 Hooray for Hollywood 87

Chapter 9 Lloyd's of London 97

Chapter 10 The Test 105

Chapter 11 Wheeling and Dealing 115

Chapter 12 Clear Channel 135

Chapter 13 Spurs Redux 143

Chapter 14 Purple Pride 161

Chapter 15 Black Gold and Koontz McCombs 189

Chapter 16 Giving, Sharing, and the Longhorns 203

Conclusion: Go for It! 225

Index 229

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