Red McCombs has, in his words, “dabbled in automobiles, cattle, oil and gas, broadcasting, insurance, racehorses, motion pictures, real estate, politics, minor league baseball, and pro football.” The successful businessman is also the co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, the former owner of two professional basketball teams, and a noted philanthropist. Published by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, Big Red is a candid first-person account of the life and times of an extraordinary Texan.
Written in collaboration with Dr. Don Carleton, the book begins with an account of McCombs’s childhood in the West Texas town of Spur, where he first went into business for himself at the age of ten by selling peanuts to farm workers. McCombs started selling cars in Corpus Christi in 1950, and before long he was one of the most successful Ford dealers in the country. He moved to San Antonio in 1958 and built a business empire, always looking for his next great deal. Through all of his wheeling and dealing, however, McCombs says he’s signed only one lifetime contract—with his wife, Charline.
McCombs’s candid views on why U.S. automakers floundered, as well as his insights on the development of the highly successful Clear Channel Communications, are among the many behind-the-scenes accounts he relates about his remarkable life.
Car dealer and businessman Red McCombs is co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, the former owner of several professional sports teams, and a noted philanthropist.
Dr. Don Carleton is executive director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. His recent publications include Dolph Briscoe: My Life in Texas Ranching and Politics and Conversations with Cronkite.
Distributed by the University of Texas Press.