Who Was Red McCombs? Texas Billionaire Dies At 95

B.J. “Red” McCombs, a San Antonio businessman and Texas Billionaire passed away on 19 February 2023 in his home. Find out about his life, career, and journey here.
Who Was Red McCombs? Texas Billionaire Dies At 95
Who Was Red McCombs? Texas Billionaire Dies At 95

B.J. “Red” McCombs, a San Antonio businessman passed away on 19 February 2023 in his home. He started as a car salesman and grew an empire that spanned media, oil, and professional sports.

He died at his home at the age of 95 on Sunday. Born in 1927 in Spur, east of Lubbock had owned 50 car dealerships under the name Red McCombs Automotive Group at one point in his life. 

In 1972 he founded Clear Channel Communications with Lowry Mays. The next year he brought the Spurs to San Antonio in 1973.

Who was Red McCombs? 

  • Born on October 19, 1927, Billy Joe "Red" McCombs was an American businessman.
  • In 2012, the San Antonio Express-News reported McCombs' net worth at $1.4 billion.
  • He was ranked the 913th richest man in the world. 
  •  In 2017, Forbes placed the value of McCombs' fortune at $1.6 billion with a ranking of No. 1,290 on a list of the world's billionaires.

Red McCombs: Early Life

  • McCombs was born in rural Spur in Dickens County in West Texas, United States.
  • His nickname "Red" came from his hair color. 
  • His father was a mechanic who earned $25 per week but tithed through the First Baptist Church of Spur each week. McCombs recalled having seen his parents "share with those who had less, and the joy of giving never ceased to amaze me."

Red McCombs: Career

  • McCombs owned the Spurs professional basketball team two separate times and also previously owned the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets. 
  • Clear Channel Communications is now known as iHeartMedia and is still headquartered in San Antonio.
  • McCombs was also known for his philanthropy. The University of Texas at Austin named its business school after him following a $50 million gift in 2000. 
  • The north end zone at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and the school’s softball stadium are also named after McCombs. In 2005, McCombs and his foundation gave MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston $30 million. 
  • He also contributed to The Texas Tribune.
  • McCombs was a donor to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during his 2016 presidential campaign,
  • He was also formerly the chair of the board of Constellis, the holding group of the private military company formerly known as Blackwater.

Red McCombs: Death

McCombs died at his home in San Antonio on February 19, 2023.

Red McCombs: Awards and honors

  • Texas Treasure Business Award for providing employment to Texas citizens
  • Distinguished Alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin, Longhorn of the Year and the Southwestern University Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • San Antonio Citizenship Award and induction into San Antonio Business, Texas, Texas Philanthropy, and San Antonio Sports Halls of Fame
  • Minnesota Business and Opportunities Magazine Man of the Year
  • Texas Business Hall of Fame in 1998
  • Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1999. His award was presented by Awards Council member Lowry Mays.
  • National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Gold Medal in 2001

Red McCombs: Biography

Red McCombs
Billy Joe McCombs

October 19, 1927
Spur, Dickens County, Texas, U.S.
Died February 19, 2023 (aged 95)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Businessman
Charline Hamblin McCombs
( m. 1950; died 2019)
Children 3
Relatives John Shields (son-in-law)


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