Childhood & Early Life
John C. Malone was born John Carl Malone, on March 7, 1941, in Milford, Connecticut, USA. His father, Daniel L. Malone, was an engineer by profession, while his mother was a housewife. John’s family has Irish ancestry. He was raised in a suburb, two hours from the New York City.
He grew up in a comfortable environment, but ever since his childhood, John had aspired for more. He attended Hopkins School, New Haven, Connecticut, from where he graduated in 1959.
Following his father’s footsteps, he pursued engineering. He earned an electrical engineering degree from ‘Yale University.’ He also earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from ‘Yale.’ He was exceptionally good at academics - a ‘National Merit Scholar’ in ‘Yale.’ He was also a member of the ‘Phi Beta Kappa’ society.
In 1964, he received his master’s degree in industrial management from at ‘Johns Hopkins University.’ He also attended ‘New York University’ and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
He completed his PhD in 1967, from ‘Johns Hopkins University.’
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In 1963, he got his first job in economic planning and research and development division at AT&T’s ‘Bell Telephone Laboratories.’ Following his PhD, he began working at ‘McKinsey & Company.’
His biggest career breakthrough came in 1970, when he was hired as the group vice president at the ‘General Instrument Corporation’ (GIC), a leading electronics manufacturer.
In 1973, he joined ‘Jerrold Electronics’ as president and. He served as president and chairman of Tele-Communications Inc. for 24 years.
His association with the media industry turned out to be the most profitable venture of his entire business career. In 1974, he served as the director of ‘National Cable and Telecommunications Association’ and stayed on the post until 1977.
In 2005, he became the chairman of the newly formed ‘Liberty Global.’ The company flourished under his leadership. The company was once a subsidiary of AT&T. It was earlier called ‘TCI.’
In the 1990s, when John took over the operations at TCI, he built the small subsidiary into a giant company. However, ‘TCI’ was sold to ‘AT&T’ in 1999, for $48 billion. It was one of the biggest deals in the history of American business at that time.
For some time, John worked in the company, but as he was answerable to the board of the parent company, he felt frustrated. In the early 2000s, ‘AT&T’ heeded to John’s demands and separated the content production wing of the media company from the main company (AT&T). The newly formed company was now called ‘Liberty Media.’
The company flourished in the next few years as John bought out huge stakes in several media firms, such as ‘AOL Time Warner,’ ‘Discovery Channel,’ and ‘News Corp.’ His aspirations went global as he bought stakes in many European and Latin American cable companies.
In 2005, ‘Liberty Global Inc.’ was set up and John became its chairman. Operating in 18 countries, it has become one of the largest broadband firms in the world.
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The company ruthlessly embarked on an acquisition spree across Europe and Latin America. The company bought majority stakes in the Dutch company ‘Ziggo,’ Belgian company ‘Telenet,’ and the Caribbean company ‘Cable & Wireless Communications.’ In May 2018, however, the company made a announcement regarding selling its business operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic to ‘Vodafone.’
’Liberty Global’ is currently offering Netflix in many countries and has also collaborated with ‘Amazon Prime Video’ to produce a series, ‘The Feed.’
Apart from his illustrious business career, John is also known for his philanthropic endeavors, especially toward educational institutions. In 2000, he made a $24 million donation to the construction of the ‘Daniel L. Malone Engineering Center’ at ‘Yale University.’
He also donated $30 million to ’Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering’ for the construction of a new building located on the Homewood Campus. It was named as ’Malone Hall.’
He has also donated funds to ‘Hopkins School’ and ‘Colorado State University.’
He also owns huge ranches in Colorado and Wyoming. In February 2011, he became the largest private landowner in the USA, beating Ted Turner. Most of his 2,100,000 acres of land is located in Maine.
In 1997, he also set-up the ‘Malone Family Foundation,’ which provides scholarship endowments to private schools throughout the country.
Family & Personal Life
John C. Malone is married to Leslie Malone and the couple has two children. The family lives in Elizabeth, Colorado. Leslie is an accomplished horse rider and works in horse breeding. Their eldest son, Evan, joined Liberty Media in 2008.
Despite being one of the richest men in America, John always despised limelight and leads a low key life.
He was nicknamed ‘Darth Vader’ by Al Gore. Overtime, John has also earned nicknames such as ‘Mad Max’ and ‘Cable Cowboy.’
John is a libertarian and a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.