A mogul tuned in to all frequencies

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The Independent Online

New York

In all the lore about Craig McCaw, the Seattle-based communications mogul and ex-classmate of Microsoft's Bill Gates, one comment passed about him by a close colleague stands out: "Craig never met a frequency he did not like."

Fascination about Mr McCaw - and what he might do next - has only intensified since the sale of his hugely successful cellular telephone company, McCaw Cellular Commications, to AT&T for $11.5bn (pounds 7.5bn) last year.

Mr McCaw, who is 46 and married with no children, is the son of John Elroy McCaw, a pioneer radio and television baron, who died in 1969, leaving his family with considerable debt. Craig, who is dyslexic, and his brothers, Bruce, John and Keith, performed a quick turnaround, however, creating a cable television empire that they sold in 1987 for $755m.

The McCaw fortune grew, however, from the distribution in the late Eighties of wireless telephone licences around the US by the Federal Communications Commission.