May 19, 2024
Explore the strategies and qualities that led Red McCombs to become a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. From his early career to his business deals and personal values, this article offers a comprehensive view of McCombs and his lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs.


Red McCombs is a name that commands respect in the world of business and philanthropy. With a net worth of over $1.5 billion, he is one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the United States. But how did he make his fortune? What were the key strategies, decisions, and risks that led to his success? And what can we learn from his journey?

In this article, we will explore five possible approaches to answering these questions. We will start with a chronological overview of McCombs’ career, followed by an industry-focused perspective on his success in various businesses. Next, we will provide a feature-style profile of his personality and leadership style, as well as a deep dive on one particularly lucrative deal. Finally, we will compare McCombs to other successful entrepreneurs and draw some insights for aspiring businesspeople.

Overall, the goal of this article is to offer a comprehensive view of McCombs and his lessons for anyone who wants to succeed in business and make a positive impact on society.

A Chronological Overview

Red McCombs was born in 1927 in Spur, Texas, a town of fewer than 1,000 people. He grew up in a family that valued hard work and entrepreneurship. His father ran a small gas station, and his mother was involved in real estate and land speculation. McCombs started working at a young age, selling newspapers and delivering milk.

After serving in the Army and attending college, McCombs began his career in the car business. He worked as a salesperson for a Chevrolet dealership in Corpus Christi, Texas, and quickly proved his talent for selling. Within a few years, he had opened his dealership, which he later sold for a substantial profit.

McCombs went on to become a pioneer in the automotive industry, building a network of dealerships across the country and becoming one of the largest car dealers in the world. He also diversified his business interests, investing in radio stations, banks, insurance companies, and other ventures.

Along the way, McCombs faced many challenges and setbacks, including market crashes, legal battles, and personal losses. However, he learned from his mistakes and persevered, always looking for new opportunities and innovative solutions.

An Industry-Focused Perspective

One key to McCombs’ success was his ability to identify and capitalize on emerging trends in different industries. For example, he was an early investor in the cable television, satellite broadcasting, and cellular phone industries, which turned out to be highly profitable. He also had a knack for spotting undervalued assets and turning them into revenue-generating businesses.

Another quality that set McCombs apart from his peers was his willingness to take calculated risks. He knew that any business venture could fail, but he also understood that the rewards could be significant if he played his cards right. He was not afraid to invest large sums of money or negotiate complex deals, as long as he saw a clear path to success.

Furthermore, McCombs had a talent for building alliances and partnerships with other entrepreneurs and investors. He knew that no one person could succeed alone, and he leveraged his connections to gain access to capital, resources, and expertise.

A Feature-Style Profile

Red McCombs is often described as a charismatic and persuasive leader who inspires loyalty and respect in his team members and partners. He is known for his straightforward communication style, his sense of humor, and his generosity. He has donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education, health care, and the arts.

Many people who know McCombs personally attest to his high ethical standards and his commitment to fairness and integrity. He is not afraid to speak up against injustice or wrongdoing, even if it could hurt his own interests.

In terms of leadership, McCombs is seen as a visionary who can anticipate trends and make bold decisions. He is also a hands-on manager who is involved in every aspect of his businesses, from strategy to operations to sales. He values hard work, creativity, and accountability in his team members, and he rewards performance with recognition and compensation.

A Deep Dive on One Particularly Lucrative Deal

One of the most famous deals that Red McCombs was involved in was the acquisition of the San Antonio Spurs, a professional basketball team, in 1993. McCombs was part of a group of investors who paid $76 million for the rights to the team, which was struggling financially and on the verge of moving to another city.

To make the deal happen, McCombs had to navigate complex negotiations with the previous owner, as well as with the NBA officials who had to approve the sale. He also had to rally public support for keeping the team in San Antonio, which was not an obvious choice for a basketball franchise.

However, McCombs’ vision and persuasive skills paid off. Under his ownership, the Spurs became one of the most successful and beloved teams in the NBA, winning five championships and gaining a worldwide fan base. The team also became a major source of revenue for McCombs and his investors, through ticket sales, merchandise, and endorsements.

Comparing McCombs to Other Successful Entrepreneurs

Red McCombs is often mentioned in the same breath as other successful entrepreneurs, such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. While these individuals had different backgrounds and industries, they share some common qualities that made them successful.

For example, all of these entrepreneurs had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve and the ability to communicate it to others. They also had a strong work ethic and a willingness to take risks, as well as a talent for identifying and leveraging opportunities. Finally, they all had a sense of purpose and a desire to make a positive impact on society.

However, they also had some differences in terms of their approaches and values. For example, Buffett is known for his patient long-term investing style and his commitment to value investing. Gates was a pioneer in the computer software industry and a passionate advocate for philanthropy. Jobs was a master of design and innovation, who transformed several industries and created iconic products.

Nevertheless, by comparing McCombs to these entrepreneurs, we can gain insights into the qualities that successful businesspeople tend to share and the strategies that can lead to fortune and influence.


Red McCombs is a fascinating case study in entrepreneurship and leadership. He started from humble beginnings and built a massive fortune through strategic thinking, risk-taking, and hard work. He is also a generous philanthropist who has made a lasting impact on his community and beyond.

In this article, we explored five possible approaches to understanding McCombs’ success, from a chronological overview of his career to an industry-focused perspective on his achievements. We also provided a feature-style profile of his personality and values, as well as a deep dive on one particularly lucrative deal he made. Finally, we compared McCombs to other successful entrepreneurs and drew some insights for aspiring businesspeople.

We hope that this article has provided some useful lessons and inspirations for anyone who wants to follow in the footsteps of Red McCombs and other successful entrepreneurs. By understanding the strategies and qualities that lead to fortune and impact, we can make our own contributions to the world and create a better future for ourselves and others.

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