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January 6, 1933 |
|Occupation||Chairman, Comcast Spectacor|
Edward M. "Ed" Snider (born January 6, 1933, Washington, D.C.) is the chairman of Comcast Spectacor, a Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company that owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Wells Fargo Center, the regional sports network Comcast SportsNet and Global Spectrum, an international facilities management company. He formerly owned the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association.
Snider, the son of a successful grocery-store chain owner, attended the University of Maryland and earned his bachelor's degree. He would become a partner in Edge Ltd., a record company. When in financial trouble, Jerry Wolman helped him out.
After selling the company, Snider joined Jerry Wolman (builder) and his brother-in-law Earl Foreman (attorney) to buy the Philadelphia Eagles in 1964. He was given a 7 percent stake in the team, and served as vice president and treasurer.
Upon learning that the NHL was planning to expand, Snider made plans for a new arena—the Spectrum--to house both a hockey team and the 76ers. On February 8, 1966, the NHL awarded Philadelphia a conditional franchise, one which would eventually be named the Philadelphia Flyers and start playing in 1967. Snider assumed control of the Spectrum in 1971 taking over as Chairman of the Board. In 1974 Snider created Spectacor as a holding company for the Flyers and the Spectrum. Flyers became first NHL expansion team to win the Stanley Cup in 1974, and to repeat as champions in 1975.
Spectacor would found or acquire several businesses under his direction, most notably a regional premium cable channel, PRISM, and the first all-sports radio station, WIP. Seeing that a new arena would keep the Flyers competitive with the rest of the league, Snider began planning for what would become the CoreStates Center (now the Wells Fargo Center) in 1988.
Prior to the Wells Fargo Center's opening in 1996, he sold a 66% stake in Spectacor to Philadelphia-based Comcast, creating Comcast Spectacor. However, Snider remained chairman of the venture, retaining a 34% interest. Soon after, Comcast Spectacor along with the Philadelphia Phillies created Comcast SportsNet in 1996. The company also bought the 76ers, who had been Snider's tenants since 1971. Comcast Spectacor also won an expansion franchise in the AHL, the Phantoms.
In 2005, Snider became a prominent investor in a Foxwoods slots casino proposed for the waterfront in Philadelphia. In September 2008, facing massive opposition at the originally intended site, backers for the slots casino decided to seek a new location in the Center City area, next to Philadelphia's Chinatown community.
Ed Snider is the executive producer of the film Atlas Shrugged: Part I. In an interview published in the Philadelphia Metro newspaper on April 26, 2011, Snider was quoted as saying "They tried to make this film for 50 years ... Hollywood did not want to make this movie because it did not adhere to its liberal agenda."
In 1985, Snider was one of the founding contributors of the Ayn Rand Institute, which was established by the philosopher Leonard Peikoff to promote the advancement of Objectivism. In 1990, after the Peikoff-Kelley split (see Objectivist Movement), Snider became a backer of the rival organization now known as The Atlas Society.
In 2005, Snider created the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation to provide a means to reach inner-city children in the Philadelphia area and provide them with the opportunity to learn to play hockey. Hockey, however, is only the “hook” — the program promises to teach the children necessary life skills, and provides them with educational assistance that furthers their classroom abilities.
In 1988, Snider was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
In 2005, Snider was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
Snider's children include Craig, Jay, Lindy, Tina, Sarena and Samuel. Snider also has 15 grandchildren. His son Jay Snider served as president of the Philadelphia Flyers from 1983 to 1994 and president of Spectacor, Inc. from 1987 to 1994.
Snider has been married three times. Snider divorced his first wife, Myrna to marry his second wife, Martha. Snider later divorced Martha and married his third wife, Christine. Snider has divorced from his third wife, Christine Decroix Snider.