Red and Charline McCombs

NET WORTH: $1.59 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Clear Channel Communications

FUNDING AREAS: Education and Youth, Health, Human Services, Arts and Culture, San Antonio community. 

OVERVIEW: Red McCombs and his wife Charline do their grantmaking through the McCombs Foundation, which was founded in the early 1980s. The couple's philanthropy prioritizes the state of Texas, where they have given millions to the University of Texas system. They also support arts and culture, human services and health, among other causes. The couple have signed the Giving Pledge. The foundation and McCombs family have contributed more than $125 million to civic causes in San Antonio and across Texas.

BACKGROUND: Billy Joe "Red" McCombs attended Southwestern University and the University of Texas at Austin School of Business and the School of Law. He is the founder of the Red McCombs Automotive Group, and founded radio and media giant Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartCommunications) along with L. Lowry Mays. McCombs also has a passion for sports and is the former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, and the Minnesota Vikings.


EDUCATION & YOUTH: McCombs and his wife Charline, through the McCombs Foundation, have supported a number of education and youth organizations. Grantees include Girls Inc. of San Antonio, Saint Mary's Hall, Southwestern University, University of the Incarnate World, The Paisano Educational Trust, and Texas Lutheran University. The McCombs couple have also supported University of Texas-Austin, now the site of McCombs School of Business, and University of Texas-Houston. A component of this philanthropy also involves supporting athletics.

HEALTH: The couple has supported MD Anderson Cancer Center. A $30 million grant in 2005 created the Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer at MD Anderson. Grantees also include Texas Biomedical Research Institute, The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation, and the Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation.

HUMAN SERVICES: The McCombs family, through their foundation, have supported outfits such as YMCA of Greater San Antonio, San Antonio Food Bank, and Haven for Hope, a nonprofit which provides services for the homeless.

ARTS & CULTURE: San Antonio is home to the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre. Other recent grantees include Witte Museum, Texas Transportation Museum, and the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

TEXAS COMMUNITY:  The couple's philanthropy prioritizes Texas. This includes support of churches such as St. Pius X Catholic Church. Other Texas grantees have included Texas Historical Foundation, Texas Economic Development Corporation, and San Antonio Sports Foundation.

LOOKING FORWARD: McCombs is over 90 and has been engaged in philanthropy for decades. It is likely that the couple's regional focus and interest area will hold. We will have to keep an eye on the next generation of McCombs family philanthropy, particularly that of heir apparent Marsha Shields.


The Foundation does not accept telephone, email, or requests other than in hard copy. To submit a McCombs Foundation donation request, please mail a request letter to the address below: 

McCombs Foundation, Inc.
755 E. Mulberry, Ste. 600
San Antonio, TX 78212
Telephone: (210) 821-6523