The Life of Craig McCaw: A Tech Pioneer.

Craig McCaw 2

Craig McCaw: A Life of Telecommunications and Distinction


Craig McCaw is an American entrepreneur who made his fortune in the telecommunications industry. He is most well-known for founding McCaw Cellular Communications, which he eventually sold to AT&T for $11.5 billion in 1994. McCaw’s influence in the wireless industry has led to him being referred to as the “father of wireless communications.”

Early Life and Education

Craig McCaw was born on August 11, 1949 in Centralia, Washington, to parents Marion and John Elroy McCaw. He grew up with five siblings and was raised in a family that was already involved in the radio industry, as his father owned a radio station. McCaw attended Stanford University but dropped out before graduating to start his own business.

Career and Achievements

McCaw began his business career by starting a cable television company, which he later sold to his brother for $30,000. In 1983, he established McCaw Cellular Communications, which became one of the largest cellular phone providers in the nation. McCaw led the way in developing cellular networks and creating innovative marketing strategies for his company.

In 1990, McCaw sold a 30 percent stake in his company to Southwestern Bell for $2 billion. He then sold the rest of McCaw Cellular Communications to AT&T for $11.5 billion in 1994, which was the largest corporate merger in history at the time. McCaw went on to start a satellite communications company called Teledesic, which went bankrupt in 2002.

Despite the failure of Teledesic, McCaw continued to invest in technology, including wireless broadband and other ventures. In 2011, he sold a majority stake in Clearwire, a wireless broadband company, to Sprint for $2.2 billion.

Personal Life

McCaw has been married twice and has six children. He is a philanthropist and has donated large sums of money to various charities and educational institutions. In addition, he is an avid pilot and has set several world records for long-distance flights.


Name Craig McCaw
Born August 11, 1949
Country United States
Sector Telecommunications
Companies McCaw Cellular Communications, Teledesic, Clearwire
Net Worth $1.8 billion
Forbes URL
The Life of Howard Marks: A Fascinating Journey
Daniel Lubetzky: A Life of Impact.