BY ROY ALBERT ANDRADE, K1LLER, Inc.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - Ralph J. Roberts was born on March 13, 1920 in Manhattan, New York. His father, Robert Max Roberts, and mother, Sara Wahl, operated a number of pharmaceutical drug stores, becoming extremely wealthy overtime. He grew up during the Great Depression, and witnessed his family losing everything. In his later years, Ralph Roberts graduated from the Wharton University of Pennsylvania, and served his country proudly for four years, mostly at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
He married Suzanne Fleisher, and fathered five children, including Brian Roberts, who eventually became the chief executive officer of Comcast Corp. in 1990. Life after the Navy didn't come easy, and Roberts struggled to succeed in business. In 1950, Roberts ended up working for William Benton, who filled in a vacant U.S. Senate seat at the end of 1949, and controlled several businesses, including the Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., and Muzak Corp., where Roberts held the position of vice president of marketing. In 1963, Roberts decided to go into business with Julian A. Brodsky and Daniel Aaron to run a 1,200-subscriber cable television business in the state of Mississippi. In 1969, American Cable Systems, the 1,200-subscriber cable television business, was renamed Comcast Corporation. Comcast is the portmanteau of the words communication, and broadcasting. Ralph J. Roberts invented the name for the company by combining com and cast.
Three years later, Comcast had its initial public offering, and began trading on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations stock market. For long-term shareholders, a thousand dollars invested in 1972 in Comcast stock, and held for the next 45 years with dividends reinvested, would be worth more than $2.4 million today. On February 4, 1988, Comcast acquired American Cellular Network Corp., and gobbled up several other companies, including shares of Storer Communications, Inc., a broadcasting company, making it the fifth-largest cable company operating around the world. In 1996, Comcast-Spectacor, a sports management company, was born, and began operating the NHL Philadelphia Flyers, and two major indoor arenas. In 2000, Roberts received one of the industry's highest honors, and was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame. Sadly, Ralph J. Roberts died on June 18, 2015.
Brian L. Roberts followed his father's footsteps, attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and earning a Bachelor of Science degree, thus becoming an employee of Comcast Corporation after successfully graduating from the world's premier business school. He started from the bottom, and quickly rose to the top. Selling cable subscriptions door-to-door, and climbing cable poles with tools hanging from his belt. He was elected as president of Comcast Corporation in 1990, and named chief executive officer in 2002. Under his leadership, Comcast's annual revenue has grown to $80.4 billion, becoming one of the nation's high-speed internet, video and phone providers to household customers under the XFNITY brand.
comcast corporation - XFINITY FACTS
Comcast publicized the availability of Netflix Ultra HD 4K programming on Xfinity X1. “We remain focused on providing our customers high-quality entertainment experiences across platforms, which includes easy access to the best 4K programming,” said Brynn Lev, Vice President, Editorial and Programming, Content Strategy and Operations, Comcast Cable. “We are thrilled to make the popular Netflix catalog of 4K programming available to X1 customers and will continue to rapidly expand the UHD programming choices available on the platform.”
Shawn W. Anderson