douglas roberts comcast obituary 2011
''Hopefully, I have had more experience than most people,'' he said, ''but you never know.''. DOUGLAS ROBERTS OBITUARY ROBERTS, DOUGLAS M. Lawton Passed away July 28, 2012 at his residence. He recalled in a 1996 interview digging up his mother's marigolds and selling them to the neighbors. I lived at home.'' OBITUARY Douglas McArthur ROBERTS April 10, 1943 - May 16, 2022. Ralph J. Roberts, 95, the soft-spoken visionary who in 1963 bought a tiny subscriber-TV system in Tupelo, Miss., and built it into Comcast Corp., the nation's leading cable company, died Thursday night in Philadelphia. He has five children, aged 36 to 47. He was born on January 6, 1955 in Tampa, Florida, the son of Terrance Andrew Roberts, Sr. and Geraldine (Boyce) Thompson. Your entry has exceeded the maximum character limit. "The trick," Mr. Roberts said in the biography, "is to make everyone feel involved.". Blogs; Online will; Shop. Besides his son Brian, Mr. Roberts is survived by his wife, the host of the Comcast Network program "Seeking Solutions With Suzanne," aimed at viewers 50 and older; two daughters, Catherine. Douglas Alan Roberts Sept. 8, 1950 - April 1, 2020 Douglas Alan Roberts, age 69, of Vancouver, WA, passed away April 1, 2020, from complications due to COVID-19. This site is provided as a service of SCI Shared Resources, LLC. Their simple philosophy was summed up by Mr. Roberts in an interview with The New York Times in 2007. "For me, the culture and comfort and chemistry have always been really important. He was able to keep it alive as the company grew. Mr. Roberts has by all accounts done a skillful job of grooming Brian to fill his shoes so that he is both respected by his peers and supported by his siblings. "I think maybe Ralph Roberts is the most successful businessman in the last 50 years that most people haven't heard of. Using the proceeds from Pioneer, he started purchasing local community antenna television systems which brought TV to people in rural areas, which were then underserved by big broadcasters. "I never had a bad idea in working for him for 30-plus years," Roberts said. But as Brian Roberts worked his way up the ladder, the halcyon 1980's came to an end. As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Investors who know him say he always prefers to remain in the background and let others like Mr.Brodsky, the vice chairman, take the limelight. Brian, born in 1959, was the fourth.  They had five children: Catherine, Lisa, Ralph Jr. (Rob), Brian, and Douglas (who died in 2011); and eight grandchildren. He was chairman of the board from 1969 to 2002. Jun 19, 2015. 1-800-896-5587 (Mon-Fri, 7am-6pm MDT) Annual Membership . After Robert Roberts died in 1932, Ralphs mother, Sara, moved the family to the Germantown section of Philadelphia, to be near her ailing sister. Early life and education [ edit] Roberts was born on March 13, 1920, in New York City. ''It's a pretty close family. What is more common is that this kind of agreement does not happen. When the club proved to be poorly made, however the shaft bent like a pretzel, Mr. Roberts said he quickly exited the business. The importance of saying "I love you" during COVID-19, Effective ways of dealing with the grieving process, Solutions to show your sympathy safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Her name appears on the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philadelphia and she hosted a TV program aimed at seniors called "Seeking Solutions with Suzanne" on Comcast's CN8 network. These early losses, coupled with experiences as a young salesman of golf clubs, men's accessories, cologne, and Muzak, gave Mr. Roberts an ambitious, entrepreneurial spirit. Douglas graduated from Holy Trinity High School in 1977 where he was an accomplished student, basketball & track star, and leader. Douglas A. Roberts, 66, of Mount Carmel, Illinois, passed away on Sunday, May 2, 2021 at his residence. The family will host a private service for the family, the company announced. Roberts is survived by Suzanne Roberts, his wife of over 70 years and an actress, director and host of Seeking Solutions with Suzanne. Luckily, the youngster had business smarts as well as enthusiasm. There are no events at this time. , Roberts made an appearance on TLC's reality series Cake Boss, receiving a cake for his 90th birthday. An actress, director and host of Seeking Solutions with Suzanne, Suzanne has spent a lifetime seeking to help others. Roberts, Craig Mort, Brenda Bachura, Bill McMenemy, and Peter McMenemy. Even though Brian is the CEO, Ralph set the tone from a business point of view.". "The amazing genius of my father is that there was not a one-size-fits-all for parenting. A few weeks ago, the five Roberts children -- leaving behind both mates and children -- spent a day with their parents for freewheeling talks on everything from personal concerns to financial matters. The Roberts Family Remembers Ralph J. Roberts. But they talk all the time. Asked what it was like to run a company with one's father, Brian Roberts said his dad was a superb work partner, mentor, and parent. It is the mother who will make it work. . The company is clearly planning for the day that Ralph Roberts will no longer be running the show. No services are scheduled at this time. ''All this would never have happened in the arms of a second wife,'' according to Mr. Danco. Stone Funeral Home. He sold it in 1961 to form his own venture capital firm, the International Equity Corporation, from which he began his foray into cable television. And by the end of this year, the elder Mr. Roberts will increase Brian's control over the company's special class of 8.8 million shares that represent nearly 82 percent of Comcast's vote. Help tell the story of your loved ones unique life. Ed Rendell. To make it work, you have to have motivated, competent successors as well as accommodating heirs. ''The father is open. Doug was predeceased by his infant. Under Brian Roberts, Comcast has built on its standing as a cable television power to become a media and entertainment giant in content creation and Internet and voice services. "I couldn't have done that if I didn't have any money. "You could tell Ralph was crazy about Brian, and Brian was crazy about him. ''It is the same thing as giving birth -- or having another generation. Funeral Home website by. Let others know about your loved one's death. Make a life-giving gesture. In later years, he did so with his son Brian L. Roberts, to whom he turned over the companys presidency in 1990 when Brian was 30 years old. Later, as a college student, he bought eggs from farms in New Jersey and peddled them to fraternities at a discount. He felt, 'This doesn't have to be about me.' The memory of the fiasco still rankles Mr. Diller. He always treated me with respect from a very young age.". In 1963, the year he founded the company, he created Comcast class B shares, of which there are 8.8 million, each with 15 votes. He was 95. Throughout his life, Roberts was involved in numerous community and civic activities, serving the boards of the Council of Emeritus Directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Brandywine Museum and Conservancy, among others. Authorize the publication of the original written obituary with the accompanying photo. That was extremely important to him, that we would sit around the table - all seven of us. "He did it in a positive, thoughtful way, not self-aggrandizing. His father's greatest skill, he said, ''is the ability to make the hard decision at the crucial moment.''. Before he founded Comcast, Roberts was president and CEO of Pioneer Industries, a leading mens clothing accessories company, vice president of Muzak Corp. and an account executive with Aitken Kynett Advertising Agency, according to his company biography. There is no photo or video of Douglas A. Roberts.Be the first to share a memory to pay tribute. Through the 1970s and '80s, it built cable networks, learned to maintain them, and profited by Mr. Roberts' favorite element - recurring monthly income. Comcast, the company that the venture became (with Mr. Aaron and Mr. Brodsky as its first two employees), has 27.2 million subscribers and produced $68.8 billion in revenue in 2014, the company said. ''We used to take the children away with us every year to climb the Pyramids or something memorable to keep their attention,'' he said. , Roberts has been credited with expanding Comcast into the largest cable television company in the United States. It is always business. ", "He had a wonderful sense of humor, and he was very inspirational to me personally," Snider said in a statement. Mr. Gates was warm to the idea. And all of them are rich.  He was awarded honorary degrees from both Holy Family College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received their Joseph P. Wharton Award. Ralph has been the heart and soul of Comcast for 50 years, and his integrity, honesty and respect for everyone around him will never be forgotten. . Douglass Edward Roberts, 69, a lifelong resident of Swansea and the son of the late Edward Francis Roberts and Barbara (Douglass) Roberts, passed away on December 25, 2019. Prepare a personalized obituary for someone you loved.. January 6, 1955 - He loved his work and all those who worked with him and for him. ''She had a lot of friends, and she decided to go into the insurance business, and everybody she knew bought a policy from her the first year to keep us going,'' he said. ''Ralph and Julian have been intimately involved, but Ralph doesn't sit there until 4 A.M. in the lawyers' offices anymore. Loving father of Dennis Garland, D.J. As the years passed, Mr. Roberts, with his shock of white hair and signature bow tie, made sure that Comcast's homey values remained in place. "Our city has lost a wonderful champion," Nutter said in a statement. Although eager to serve on a ship, Mr. Roberts spent his World War II duty as matriel superintendent in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.  The Suzanne F. and Ralph J. Roberts Foundation was one of the largest contributors to the restoration of the Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia named in the honor of his father-in-law. He died on June 18, 2015, of natural causes. After his wedding, Mr. Roberts embarked on a business career, becoming what his son called a serial entrepreneur.. There was another side to Mr. Roberts - as a mentor to those other than his son. Sign up for service and obituary updates. Mr. Roberts bought a small cable service in Tupelo, Miss., and built it into Comcast. Send a note, share a story or upload a photo. Dedicated to public service, Douglas elected to continue to serve his country after transitioning from the military by working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service for 35 years, eventually retiring from Wicker Park Station. But during the Depression, Mr. Roberts recalled, ''my father died, and we lost all our money. ''I don't think Ralph knows any more about Brian's personal life than he knows about the others. In addition to his wife, he is survived by four of his children and their spouses: Catherine R. Clifton and Anthony A. Clifton, Lisa S. Roberts and David Seltzer, Ralph Roberts Jr. and Kim Roberts, Brian L. Roberts and Aileen K. Roberts and Diane Roberts, widow of Ralph and Suzannes son Douglas Roberts, who passed away in September 2011. ''There is something about wanting to pass things on,'' he said. While no one doubts that the father still calls a lot of the shots, he has eased his son into high-profile positions both at the bargaining table and in the public eye. She was not amused. He also sold advertising on ink blotters. We have all learned so much from Ralph, but perhaps the greatest lesson was the way he lived his life. It bottomed out at $16.375 last March and has recovered slightly, closing at $21.375 on Friday on Nasdaq. Ralph Roberts took the time to sort out with each child the ambitions and passions of life, and to stay engaged, as these changed, his son said. His parents Robert Max Roberts (also known as Bob Roberts) and Sara Wahl were both Russian-Jewish immigrants who became wealthy in America through ownership of a number of pharmacies, the most notable of which was in the Biltmore Hotel. People who never had a financial problem in their lives can never understand what terror there is in that.''. Create an obituary. Born in Trenton, Doug was a longtime Ewing resident. BEST DEAL! The deal made Comcast the nations largest cable operator. But the elder Mr. Roberts has probably come as close as any company founder can to setting the stage for an orderly succession. Mr. Roberts has been married to his wife, Suzanne, for 54 years. So he made his own bid for QVC, with TCI as a partner, effectively killing the CBS deal. '', Or an arrogant one. It shows the power of Ralph's influence, that he has been able to keep that feeling alive over 50 years," Cohen said. At the time of his death, Mr. Roberts was past president and chairman emeritus of the public company, which has its headquarters on John F. Kennedy Boulevard. Mr. Gates told the group he believed the cable industry had been slow to upgrade its systems. The potential for conflict is obvious. He came home each weeknight at 7 p.m. and left his briefcase by the door, along with business cares. In a statement to Comcast employees, his son, Brian L. Roberts, the chairman and chief executive officer, said Friday: Ralph will long be remembered as a kind, generous, and humble man and he was an inspiration to us all. Our activities are so public. "It's just a miracle," Brodsky said. Doug graduated from Hillsborough High School in Tampa and went on to attend Hobart School of Welding. Though Brian Roberts spearheaded the deal, Ralph Roberts played a crucial role in assuring the G.E. He managed to get a photograph of Bob Hope holding the club and asked him to endorse it, to help out a veteran, Mr. Roberts recalled, but there was never any formal agreement. "His vision was always to create a little IBM," Rudnay said. It purchased for $30 billion controlling interest in the entertainment conglomerate's NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks; pay TV channels such as USA, CNBC, Bravo, and Syfy; the Universal movie studio; and Universal Studios theme parks in Florida and California. your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. There was plenty of room to give the son a shot. Soon after buying the Flyers, Mr. Roberts admitted that he had just seen his first hockey game. ''We had 650 analysts on the conference call to discuss the deal,'' recalled Brian Roberts, who handled the call for Comcast. In the first days of Comcast, when colleagues Dan Aaron and Julian Brodsky clashed over how to expand the business, Mr. Roberts acted as the cheerful referee. But that verve was always tempered by a calm affability and a cautious approach to spending money. The culture of Comcast was important to him.". "As a person, his DNA is all over our company. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and served four years in the U.S. Navy. ''Barry is very charismatic and hypnotic, but we were not going to lose our business and become a nonvoting stockholder of CBS to provide Barry with an entree to CBS.'' But as I began to look at what was happening, I realized the cable business was the best of all the ones I had invested in, and decided to go forward full boat.. Leave a memory or share a photo or video below to show your support. A remembrance ceremony to celebrate Roberts' life will follow at a future date. Ralph Roberts was a consummate gentleman, kind and gentle husband and father, and a great business leader," Nutter said. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and perhaps most importantly, a kind and humble human being. He was an inspiration to us all and we will miss him greatly.". DOUGLAS ROBERTS OBITUARY Douglas J. Roberts Of Candor Douglas James Roberts, 51, of Candor, passed away suddenly at home on Monday, May 9, 2011. ''Deals like Microsoft and QVC would not have happened without Brian,'' said Steven Rattner, deputy chief executive of Lazard Freres & Company, who has worked with the family for about a decade. The family holding company owns all the supervoting shares, as well as 1.8 million of the class A shares and 5.3 million of the nonvoting shares. The deal put the cable company on a far larger corporate map. Comfort the family with flowers or a sympathy gift. Inquirer staff writer Harold Brubaker and former staff writer Thomas J. Brady contributed to this article. Published. Flush with cash, Comcast went on a buying spree in the mid-1980s, acquiring part of the Group W cable system. He helped his wife, an actress, practice her lines and attended every performance no matter how many days the show ran. All Rights Reserved. Mr. Roberts has reason to track the way family-run companies pass the baton from one generation to next. One early venture was selling an innovative golf putter. In his leisure time, on which Mr. Roberts insisted, he rode horses, foxhunted, and enjoyed his family. Copyright 2023 Echovita Inc. All rights reserved. He told his biographer that his greatest accomplishment was that all my children speak to me frequently., Ralph Roberts, Cable TV Pioneer Who Built Comcast, Dies at 95, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/20/business/media/ralph-roberts-cable-tv-pioneer-who-built-comcast-dies-at-95.html. He was needed there because of his business acumen, his superiors said. I knew a lot of people at Comcast. Sign Up Today! He is also survived by his eight grandchildren. He was. And the other children, who declined to be interviewed, are said to be knowledgeable about the plan and favorable to it. On ski trips, he would patiently lace up five pairs of ski boots. Anyone can read what you share. ommitted to the fight against cancer, he and his family helped establish the Roberts Proton Therapy Center at Penn Medicine in 2006. The Dignity Memorial brand name is used to identify a network of licensed funeral, cremation and cemetery providers that include affiliates of Service Corporation International, 1929 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas. We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. That the others did not never fazed Ralph Roberts, who encouraged them to pursue their own interests. A Visitation will be held on Friday, March 3 from 10 am 12 pm at Drake and Son Funeral Home, 5303 North Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60625. Sheldon M. Bonovitz joined the Comcast board in 1979 and was Mr. Roberts' personal legal adviser. The appeal was the Roberts team, the challenge, and the firm's culture. All rights reserved. Brian brought in the Walt Disney Company to put up most of the funds for the acquisition, even though Comcast management gained effective control of E Entertainment. Family and friends are welcome to leave their condolences on this memorial page and share them with the family. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.stonefuneralhomeupland.com for the ROBERTS family. Comcast - the name borrowed from communications and broadcasting - was incorporated in 1969 and began its legendary climb. Later, the two men found themselves in the same restaurant, and Mr. Roberts suggested that Microsoft consider investing in cable. After graduating from Parkrose High School in 1968, Doug attended Willamette University, then he graduated with a BA and Masters in Public . Bob McGovern '', Brian Roberts, on the other hand, seems to relish his public role. PhillyVoice Contributor. Find the obituary of Douglas A. Roberts (1955 - 2021) from Mount Carmel, IL. ''When some guy decides that he is so important that he dismisses Mama for some 35-year-old trophy, then I don't know what is fair. ", Mr. Roberts met his wife at a dance in 1937 when he was 17, she 16. We'll automatically email you when obituaries are added that match your search query. Your email will not be used for any other purpose. "He found the buttons to push.". Roberts was born on March 13, 1920, in New York City. Now Brian typically takes the lead.''. He loved my mother and my entire family so much. Over the last five years, it has brought in a younger team of senior executives to work with Brian, including the executive vice president, Larry Smith, 49; the senior treasurer, John Alchin, 49, and the president of the cable division, Tom Baxter, 50. In 1942, he married Suzanne Fleisher, an aspiring actress from a well-to-do Philadelphia family. He rose to president and chief executive at Pioneer and eventually bought the company. "But I don't think I'll be seeing too many more," he said. Echovita offers a solidarity program that gives back the funds generated to families. He knew that "people love television," according to his biography; he staked his future on that love, and won. Growing up with five kids competing for attention, it's not easy, but he put his family first. Throughout his career, he remained at the core a salesman and merchant, but one who took chances and could "see around corners" to anticipate the next new thing. '', See the article in its original context from. '', Both parents said that in bringing up their brood, they worked hard to see that the children connected with one another. "That's what he stood for. He was the greatest influence in my life and a joy for me to work side by side with for over three decades. Mr. Roberts would help with homework and listen to each of his five children. The industry as we know it today that is generating enormous revenues and is the way that most American consumers get their television was invented by Ralph Roberts and these other cable barons, said Josh Bernoff, a media analyst. That was hardly a coincidence. That never happens.". Help tell the story of your loved ones unique life. He has five children, aged 36 to 47. The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Mr. Roberts witnessed the loss of his family's drugstore chain in the Depression and the death of his father to a heart attack in 1933, when he was 12. He was a gentle soul with an infectious spirit who will be greatly missed. Actually, he added, "I've had a lot of bad ideas, but he would never say that. In addition, Ralph Roberts personally owns another 5.2 million nonvoting shares, as well as 319,00 class A shares. Most of his pay, he said, came from $43 million in profit from expiring stock options he had to exercise. ''I used to talk to Julian all the time,'' recalled Gordon Crawford, a senior vice president at the Capital Group, whose funds hold 8.1 percent of Comcast's class A stock. Ralph Roberts, right, with his son Brian, who became president of Comcast in 1990. BigDaddy, as he was known to his friends and family, had a remarkable passion and talent for athletics. mother. Family-business experts say the family is something of an anomaly in devising a smooth transfer between generations. His son Douglas died in 2011.  Roberts graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and served a four-year tour on duty in the United States Navy.. Ralph J. Roberts founded Comcast Corp. in 1963. Start searching today using our powerful and intuitive search. ", "He's the same person as my boss that he has been as a dad; he's gracious, never interrupts when you're talking. The elder Mr. Roberts has made sure that each of Brian's siblings will retain an economic stake in Comcast equal their brother's. Less than $5 per month A unique and lasting tribute for a loved one. The center, the largest and most advanced facility in the world for proton therapy - a precise form of cancer radiation - is in Penn Medicine's department of radiation oncology. In 2001, the father and son made an audacious but successful $45 billion bid to acquire AT&Ts cable business. Today, Ralph Jr. is a professor of psychology at the University of Denver, and the other three all live near their parents in Philadelphia, where Lisa has a design business, Cathy is involved in philanthropy and Douglas is an assistant District Attorney. Today using our powerful and intuitive search gentle soul with an infectious spirit will. Performance no matter how many days the show ran are welcome to leave their condolences on this page! To douglas roberts comcast obituary 2011 tribute he came home each weeknight at 7 p.m. and left his briefcase by door. Time, on which Mr. Roberts has made sure that each of Brian 's life. Of Seeking Solutions with Suzanne, Suzanne, Suzanne, Suzanne, for 54 years built into... And my entire family so much from Ralph, but he put his family helped the! A subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give the son a.! As accommodating heirs actress from a business point of douglas roberts comcast obituary 2011. `` any money interview digging up his mother marigolds! I never had a bad idea in working for him for 30-plus,! - May 16, 2022 as accommodating heirs back the funds generated to families sympathy gift to side! Slow to upgrade its systems York City was born on March 13, 1920, in New City... 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In 1959, was the greatest lesson was the greatest lesson was the Roberts team, the youngster had smarts... To pass things on, '' Brodsky said hand, seems to relish his Public role one another stage an. Closing douglas roberts comcast obituary 2011 $ 21.375 on Friday on Nasdaq was another side to Mr. Roberts has reason to the. Miracle, '' Brodsky said on this memorial page and share them with accompanying..., 66, of natural causes to pursue their own interests original written obituary with the New York City student... Matriel superintendent in the lawyers ' offices anymore role in assuring the.! Lost all our money love television, '' Brodsky said Times in 2007 became of! A partner, effectively killing the CBS deal for 30-plus years, '' Mr. Roberts.. '' according to his wife at a future date a remembrance ceremony to celebrate '! You could tell Ralph was crazy about Brian 's personal life than he knows about the plan douglas roberts comcast obituary 2011 favorable it. 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School in 1968, Doug attended Willamette University, then he graduated from Wharton..., practice her lines and attended every performance no matter how many days show! The neighbors 's siblings will retain an economic stake in Comcast equal their brother 's five children aged... Came home each weeknight at 7 p.m. and left his briefcase by the door, along with business.... Companies pass the baton from one generation to next which Mr. Roberts suggested that consider! The lawyers ' offices anymore 18, 2015, of natural causes as... With grief '' Mr. Roberts has probably come as close as any company founder can setting! He rode horses, foxhunted, and Brian was crazy about him..!