The National Western Stock Show has named John C. Malone the 2017 Citizen of the West, an award that recognizes those who embody the spirit and determination of the Western pioneer and perpetuate the West’s agricultural heritage and ideals. A committee of community leaders selects the recipients.
Malone is the chairman of the board of Liberty Media Corporation, Liberty Interactive Corporation, Liberty Broadband Corporation and Liberty Global PLC. He will receive the prestigious award at a dinner on Jan. 9 at the National Western Events Center. Proceeds from the event support 80 scholarships awarded annually to colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming by the National Western Scholarship Trust.
Born in Milford, Connecticut, Dr. Malone was a Phi Beta Kappa and a National Merit Scholar at Yale University, where he earned bachelor degrees in electrical engineering and economics. He went on to earn his master’s degree in industrial management and his Ph.D. in operations research at Johns Hopkins.
Malone began his career in 1963 with Bell Telephone Laboratories and AT&T. He spent two years with McKinsey & Company and then joined General Instruments (GI). He was later named president of Jerrold Electronics, a subsidiary of GI. At the forefront of the development of the cable industry, Malone was the CEO of Telecommunications Inc. (TCI) from 1973 until 1996. It was during this time that Malone planted his roots in Colorado and the West. In 1991, TCI spun off Liberty Media Corporation to house its programming assets, which remained in Malone’s control after the sale of TCI in 1999.
Jerry Lindauer, an early player in the cable-television industry, once said of Malone, “You could put him on a panel of nothing but experts in their respective fields, be it financing, marketing, programming, engineering, technology, whatever it is…he was a tour de force. He can cross all disciplines.”
In addition to his many business successes, Malone is passionate about education and supporting his community. The Malone Family Foundation focuses on funding scholarships to select independent secondary schools. The Denver Public School system’s DSST is a beneficiary of Malone’s philanthropy, creating challenging learning environments for talented students in more than 12 local schools.
In 2014, Malone and his wife, Leslie, donated $42.5 million to Colorado State University to create the Institute for Biologic and Translational Therapies, which aims to develop stem cell and other treatments for animals. They support The Harmony Equine Center, a division of the Denver Dumb Friends League, which rescues and rehabilitates horses throughout the West.
Malone is further respected as a great philanthropist for land preservation and is the founder of the Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation. A believer in land conservation, he has said, “Productive land is one of the very few permanent values throughout history.”
In 2011, Malone became the largest individual private landowner in the United States. He owns and oversees many successful cattle ranches in the Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico, as well as significant forestry operations in the Northeast. The Malones live on a ranch southeast of Denver and have two children and four grandchildren.
“John Malone has a true appreciation of the American West, he knows the history, and strategizes for the future. While all ranch acquisitions were thoroughly vetted, John’s eye for quality is unparalleled with a straight forward approach and insight to the land transfer and the people involved. Generous, philanthropic and respectful, John embodies what makes a Citizen of the West,” said Ron Morris, a director for Roundup Riders of the Rockies and owner of Ranch Marketing Associates.
To purchase tickets to attend the 2017 Citizen of the West event honoring John Malone, please contact Morgan Topolnicki at 303-299-5560 or MTopolnicki@NationalWestern.com
About the National Western Stock Show: In the 111th year, the National Western Stock Show is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization that provides college and graduate level scholarships in agriculture and medicine for practice in rural areas. It is also our mission to serve producers and consumers throughout the world by being the premier stock show, rodeo, horse show and center for year-round events. The 16-day show also serves as an entertainment arena, hosting one of the world’s richest regular season professional rodeos, largest horse show and Colorado’s largest Western trade show. For more information visit www.nationalwestern.com.