Charles William ERGEN

Primary Position Chairman Age 63
Primary Company DISH Network Birthday 1 Mar 1953
Estimated Net Worth At least $13.9 billion Residences Littleton, Colorado, United States
Source Self-Made
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States
Religion Christian (Episcopalian)
Ethnicity Caucasian
Alternative Names Charles W. Ergen
Charlie Ergen
Marital Status Married


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.

Education History

Institution Name Qualification Name Education Type Start Date End Date
Oak Ridge High School Diploma High School
University of Tennessee Bachelor's degree Undergraduate 1975
Wake Forest University MBA Graduate 1976

Interesting Facts

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

Hobby Name Description
Travel 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.
Card Games Ergen was a professional blackjack player.
Politics Generous political donor gives to both sides of the political aisle. Life time giving exceeds $250,000.
Philanthropy 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.


Giving Profile
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.

Clubs & Boards

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Known Associates

Total known associates: 24. Total known associates net worth: $2.0 billion. To view details, sign up for Wealth-X Professional or Contact Us.

Family Details

Political Interests

Party Affiliation Unknown Political Profile 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.