TDS Founder LeRoy Carlson Dies at 100

Longtime chairman founded telecom company in 1969

LeRoy (Roy) Carlson, founder and chairman emeritus of Telephone & Data Systems, died Monday, May 23, according to the company. He was 100 years old.

"While TDS has lost its founder and longtime chairman, and a remarkable man, Roy's legacy will live on for many years to come," said LeRoy T. Carlson Jr., TDS president and CEO in a statement.  "Roy's vision, leadership, values and business principles set the foundation for TDS becoming a leading telecommunications company.  At TDS, we will honor Roy's memory by continuing to dedicate ourselves to serving the customer with excellence and building the Company he loved so much."

Carlson founded TDS in 1969 and under his leadership TDS grew from a small number of rural telephone companies in southern Wisconsin into a national telecommunications provider with revenues of $5 billion in 2015. As TDS chairman, Carlson also was involved in the establishment and development of U.S. Cellular.

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