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Charles William ERGEN
1 Mar 1953
Estimated Net Worth
At least $13.9 billion
Littleton, Colorado, United States
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States
Charles W. Ergen Charlie Ergen
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Native of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Ergen was born in 1953. He obtained his Bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee and his MBA from Wake Forest University. Began his career with a snack manufacturer, Frito-Lay as a Financial Analyst in 1976; resigned in 1978. Ergen also served as a Travelling Auditor of a North Carolina-based textile company, Collins and Aikman. In 1980, he co-founded satellite broadcaster based in Colorado, EchoStar Communications Corporation with his wife, Cantey Ergen and friend, James DeFranco. In 1995, he launched the company's first satellite from China; the company was renamed DISH Network and went public the same year. In 2008, a sister company of DISH Network that provides satellite operations, EchoStar was established. Ergen currently serves as Chairman and CEO of DISH Network, and as Chairman of EchoStar. Apart from his business interests, Ergen also serves as a Co-Executive Director of The Telluray Foundation. Ergen is married to Cantey Ergen. The couple has five children together and currently resides in Littleton, Colorado.
Oak Ridge High School
University of Tennessee
Wake Forest University
In 2014, DISH Network reportedly entered into a partnership agreement with a San Francisco, California-based pioneer of pCell technology, Artemis Networks, in order to provide high speed and good signal strength for internet connection for the entire bay area of San Francisco, California.
In June 2015, DISH Network was reportedly in talks with Bellevue, Washington-based mobile network operator T-Mobile US over a possible merger.
Ergen was a professional blackjack player before he started EchoStar Communications Corporation in 1980; reportedly he was kicked out of Las Vegas casino for allegedly counting cards.
Ergen was referred to as a "hard-nosed executive" as he was ready to take risk in acquiring a bankrupt company, Blockbuster for nearly $320 million.
In 1980, Ergen along with his wife, Cantey Ergen and his friend, James DeFranco invested $60,000 in savings and bought a satellite dish franchise for Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and later established EchoStar Communications Corporation.
In March 2014, DISH Network entered into a contract with Burbank, California-based media company, Walt Disney, which allowed DISH Network to deliver the content produced by Walt Disney's affiliates such as ABC and ESPN over the internet through smartphones and tablets. This deal was said to be the first in the U.S. that allowed a broadcaster to offer a media company's content outside television subscriptions.
Ergen was honored with "Star Award" by Home Satellite TV Association in 1988; was named "Master Entrepreneur of the Year" for the Rocky Mountain region in 1991 by Inc. magazine; "World's Best CEO" in 2007 by Barron's magazine; "Space Industry Businessman" in 2000 by Aviation Week magazine; Frost and Sullivan 2001 CEO of the year of the satellite industry; and Forbes magazine's Top Ten CEO's list.
Reportedly, Ergen also starred in his own TV show, "Charlie Chat," which included infomercials and calls from DISH Network subscribers.
In April 2013, Ergen, through DISH Network, reportedly bid $25.5 billion to acquire Spring Nextel Corporation, an American holding company.
DISH Network reportedly acquired Sling Media in 2007 for a reported $380 million.
Interests, Passion, Hobbies
After resigning from Frito-Lay in 1978, Ergen became a freelancer by investing in the stock market. In his spare time, he reportedly enjoyed travelling overseas with his future wife at that time, Cantey.
Ergen was a professional blackjack player.
Generous political donor gives to both sides of the political aisle. Life time giving exceeds $250,000.
Serves as Co-Executive Director at family foundation, The Telluray Foundation.
Outdoors - Mountain Climbing
Reportedly likes mountain climbing.
Sports - American Football
Reportedly, Ergen is a fan of Dallas Cowboys, a professional American football team.
Co-Executive Director of The Telluray Foundation. In 2013, the foundation had more than $3 million in assets and donated more than $160,000; gives primarily to health and children's educational causes. Recipients include: Prostate Cancer Education Council, Young Life and Denver School of Science and Technology. In addition, Ergen is a generous philanthropic donor; reportedly, Ergen and his family has donated a cumulative amount of at least $1 million to Children's Hospital Colorado in 2007.
Native of Austria; earned his Ph.D from the University of Vienna. He migrated to the U.S. prior to World War II as part of the European brain drain. He served as a Nuclear Physicist at National Laboratory, Oak Ridge. Passed away due to a heart attack in 1971.
Christopher William Krasny Ergen
Obtained a Bachelor's degree from University of Colorado at Boulder and from The Evergreen State College. He served as Strategy and Business Development Executive at Globecomm Systems and Business Development Executives at Yottabytes Ventures. Currently, he serves as Strategy and Innovation Consultant at Nomadic Intelligence and serves as an International Business Development Executive at DISH Network.
Cantey McAdam Ergen
Also known as Candy; co-founded DISH Network in 1980. She also served on the board of several organizations, including the Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital Foundation and Girl Scouts USA Mile Hi Council. Currently, she serves as a Senior Advisor and a Director at DISH Network and serves as a Co-Executive Director of the Telluray Foundation. Cantey and Ergen has five children.
Physician at St. Mary's Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Met with father, William in Minnesota and then moved to Tennessee in the early 1940s. She was a Business Manager at Children's Museum, Oak Ridge. She had five children with William. She passed away on May 21, 2013.
Generous political donor gives to both sides of the political aisle. Lifetime giving exceeds $250,000. Recipients include: John Sidney McCain III, Lisa Murkowski, Robert W. Goodlatte, Frederick C. Boucher, Thomas Gerard Tancredo, Bart Gordon and John Sidney McCain.