Craig is the second of four sons of Marion and John Elroy McCaw. McCaw’s father was a broadcasting magnate. He was in the business of buying and selling TV and radio stations, which brought in wealth but also incurred significant debts. Elroy entered the cable television business in the 1960s, and his four sons worked as linemen and door-to-door salesmen.
When Elroy died, the only company not sold to repay the debt was the small Centralia cable company with estimated 2,000 to 4,000 subscribers, which was in trust. He left his his senior year at Stanford to take the helm of the cable company and set out to rebuild his family name. He used the cash flows from his growing cable company to purchase other remote cable companies, resulting in a profitable conglomerate. By the 1980s, McCaw Cablevision was the 20th largest cable carrier in the United States.
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