Craig McCaw - Fortune - Billionaire list

Craig McCaw
Craig McCaw (born in 1949), made his fortune dealing in cellular phone territorial licenses.

How Craig McCaw got rich
The resulting company, McCaw Cellular, was sold to AT&T in 1994. Craig McCaw began his business career running a small cable company in Washington state, serving only 4,000 customers. The company had been left to him and his brothers upon the death of their father. Though used to a privileged life as a child, his father had built a comfortable home life on a pile of debt. When McCaw's father passed away, the only company not to sold to repay the debt was a small cable operation. Craig McCaw ruthlessly expanded the cable business, taking on as much debt as it could handle, and eventually controlled the 20th largest cable company in the United States.

McCaw's real genius was recognizing the astronomical potential for cellular phones in the United States. McCaw applied the same tactics to cellular that he had to cable, and expanded his business quickly. When the FCC lotteried off cellular licenses in the early 1980s, many ordinary American got rich by winning the right to establish cellular systems in cities across America. McCaw approached many of those lottery winners, and bought their cellular rights. McCaw had the vision of a nation-wide cellular system, and his vision paid off when he sold McCaw Cellular to AT&T for over $13 Billion.

 

Fortune
$2.1 billion as of 2005.
$2.8 billion as of 2004.