New York Times: Ralph Roberts, Cable TV Pioneer Who Built Comcast, Dies at 95
The soft-spoken, affable Mr. Roberts never acquired the outsize public profile of cable pioneers like Ted Turner, John C. Malone, Charles F. Dolan and John Rigas, but his impact was comparable to theirs in making cable television a culture-changing industry — giving viewers hundreds of channels, where they once had little more than a dozen, and persuading them to pay for something that had always been free.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Comcast founder Ralph Roberts, 95, dies
Bonnie L. Cook
Mr. Roberts taught by example. "Ralph was always 'Ralph' to his rank-and-file employees, and a great listener who always checked his ego at the door. I cannot remember a time during our relationship where a cross word passed between us. When I think of Ralph, it is always with the utmost affection."
New York Times: A Succession any Founder Would Envy
Some 47 years ago, Ralph Roberts founded the company now known as Comcast. He was a middle-aged man who had recently gotten out of the belt and suspender business and was looking for something new. He found it in a tiny company in Tupelo, Mississippi, which was erecting a giant antenna to provide the local citizenry with signals from the television stations in Memphis, Tennessee, 90 miles, or 145 kilometers, away.
Philadelphia Inquirer: A cable kingdom 40 years in the making
He found the next big thing on Chestnut Street in 1962. Venture capitalist Warren "Pete" Musser had acquired an early "community-antenna" TV system in Tupelo, Miss., but was looking to unload it to focus on his new company, Safeguard Scientifics. Musser was talking to newspaper reporter-turned-cable broker Dan Aaron about this when Musser spotted Roberts, whom he knew, and said, "Here comes our fish," according to Aaron's autobiography, Take the Measure of the Man.
Associated Press: Comcast's NBC talks cap its decades-long rise
Ralph Roberts knew he was onto something big when people ran after his cable TV trucks in Tupelo, Miss., asking for a visit to their homes. It was 1963. Roberts had been looking for new ventures after selling his belt-and-suspenders company. He bought American Cable Systems for $500,000 -- an opportunity that had been mentioned to him by a business acquaintance he came across while strolling down a Philadelphia street.