Southwestern University Life Trustee
Red McCombs ’49
Red McCombs is a highly successful businessman in a number of industries, including automotive, oil and gas, real estate, broadcasting, and professional sports, and a noted philanthropist. He began his career in 1950 in Corpus Christi. In 1958, he and his wife Charline moved to San Antonio and founded what became the Red McCombs Automotive Group, which became the sixth largest automotive dealer chain in the United States. In the 1960s, he formed Houston-based McCombs Energy and Koontz–McCombs Development Company, and during the 1970s, with partner Lowry Mays, he built a San Antonio communications company into Clear Channel Communications, which grew into the largest ownership of radio stations and outdoor billboards in the world. In 1972, he founded the San Antonio Spurs and later owned the NBA Denver Nuggets and the NFL Minnesota Vikings. His business success is reflected by his Texas Legend Award from the Texas Automotive Dealers Association; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Chamber of Commerce; honors conferred by the National Automobile Hall of Fame, the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and the San Antonio Spurs Hall of Fame; as well as the College Football Hall of Fame’s Gold Medal Award. The University of Texas Business School at Austin bears his name. Additionally, a life-size statue of McCombs is located in the Red Zone area of the Darrell K. Royal Stadium.
McCombs has been actively involved in a number of local, statewide, and national civic, charitable, and social organizations. He has served as the chair of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and is an influential member of the Alamo Endowment Board, which focuses on the preservation and management of the Alamo mission in downtown San Antonio.
McCombs attended Southwestern, where he played football, prior to entering military service. He served on the Southwestern Board of Trustees from 1987 to 2014, chairing the board from 1992 to 2000. In 2014, he was named a life trustee and the board’s honorary chair. He was honored by Southwestern as a distinguished alumnus in 1990 and awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1997.
Location: San Antonio