American businessman Charles William “Charlie” Ergen has an estimated net worth of $18.2 billion as of 2015, according to Forbes. He is the co-founder and chairman of DISH Network and EcoStar Communications Corporation.
Ergen was born on March 1 1953 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, into an Episcopalian family. He earned his BA degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and MBA from Wake Forest University.
Ergen became a CPA and worked for Frito-Lay before striking out on his own. He founded EcoStar with his wife Cantey McAdam and friend Jim DeFranco. Today Ergen has a reputation of being one of the toughest dealmakers in the cable and satellite television business. He owns 52 percent of DISH and EcoStar shares and holds 88 percent of its total voting power.
Ergen has a classic startup mindset. He is an aggressive and fierce entrepreneur. He has been honored with many awards, including Frost & Sullivan 2001 CEO of the Year of the Satellite Industry.
Cantey and Charles have five children. The family lives in Littleton, Colorado. Charles Ergen is an avid mountain climber. He has not only climbed all of Colorado’s 14,000 ft peaks but also scaled Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest base camp. Poker and pickup basketball are his other interests.