(1933 - )
Edward M. Snider (born January 6, 1933, Washington, D.C.) is the Chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, a Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, the Philadelphia Phantoms of the minor American Hockey League, the Wachovia Center, the Wachovia Spectrum, the regional sports network Comcast SportsNet and Global Spectrum, an international facilities management company.
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. 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 bought 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, and in 1974 created Spectacor as a holding company for the Flyers and the Spectrum.
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 Wachovia Center) in 1988.
Prior to the Wachovia 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 a 1999 Philadelphia Daily News poll, Snider was selected as the city’s greatest sports mover and shaker, beating out legends such as Connie Mack, Sonny Hill, Bert Bell, and Roger Penske.
Snider and his third wife Christine reside in suburban Philadelphia. Snider’s children include Craig, Jay, Lindy, Tina, Sarena and Samuel. Snider also has 15 grandchildren. Snider’s marriage to first wife Myrna ended in divorce. Snider’s marriage to his second wife Martha also ended in divorce.
In 1985, he and philosopher Leonard Peikoff founded the Ayn Rand Institute for the advancement of Objectivism.