Feature Story

Ralph J. Roberts: Key Milestones

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REPLAY
  • 1920: Ralph J. Roberts is born on March 13 in Manhattan

  • 1936: The Roberts family moves to Germantown, Pennsylvania

  • 1941: Roberts graduates from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and joins the Navy

  • 1942: Roberts marries Suzanne Fleisher in August and together they had five children, Catherine (Anthony Clifton), Lisa (David Seltzer), Ralph Jr. (Kim Roberts), Brian (Aileen Roberts) and Douglas (Diane), and eight grandchildren

  • 1946: Roberts partners with a Navy buddy to manufacture and sell golf clubs

  • 1950: Roberts joins the Muzak Corporation

  • 1956: Roberts becomes president of the Pioneer Suspender Company

  • 1961: Roberts sells Pioneer to a competitor

  • 1963: Roberts meets Warren "Peter" Musser and Daniel Aaron on a street in Philadelphia and agrees to buy a community-antenna TV system in Tupelo, Mississippi for $500,000; American Cable Systems is born

  • 1969: American Cable Systems is renamed Comcast Corporation and incorporated in Pennsylvania

  • 1972: Company goes public; trades on the NASDAQ stock market

  • 1988: Comcast becomes the nation’s fifth-largest cable company with more than 2 million customers

  • 1990: Roberts receives the Walter Kaitz Foundation Award for contributing to the cable industry’s diversity efforts; Roberts’ son, Brian L. Roberts, is named President of Comcast

  • 1993: Roberts receives NCTA’s "Distinguished Vanguard Award"

  • 1996: Comcast formed Comcast-Spectacor, a sports venture owning and operating the NHL Philadelphia Flyers, the NBA Philadelphia 76ers and two indoor arenas

  • 2000: Roberts inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame

  • 2001: Roberts receives the William Penn Award given by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

  • 2002: Comcast buys AT&T Broadband cable systems, becoming the largest cable company in America with 21 million customers; Brian L. Roberts becomes CEO

  • 2003: Roberts receives the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award given by the UJA Federation and the Trustees Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

  • 2004: Roberts receives an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Arcadia University; Brian L. Roberts named Chairman of Comcast Corporation

  • 2005: Roberts receives the Joseph P. Wharton Award and an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania

  • 2006: Comcast reaches over 23 million subscribers; Roberts celebrates the launch of The Roberts Proton Therapy Center at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

  • 2010: Roberts celebrates his 90th birthday

  • 2011: Comcast and General Electric complete their transaction to form NBCUniversal, LLC., creating  a global media and technology company. Comcast acquires 51% ownership stake.

  • 2012: Ralph Roberts and his wife Suzanne celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary

  • 2013: Comcast announces its acquisition of GE’s 49% common equity ownership interest in NBCUniversal; celebrates its 50th anniversary as a company

  • 2015:  Ralph was presented, along with his wife Suzanne, with the Philadelphia Award in recognition of their lifetime contributions of the City of Philadelphia in the worlds of business, philanthropy, and arts and culture.

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