Jim M. Fowler and Jack R. Crosby were business partners, mentors and most importantly, dear friends. They were an inspiration to all of us, and they will always be missed.
Mr. Fowler lectured widely and appeared on numerous national and local television shows with and without safe handle-able animals that served as his “Ambassadors for the Natural World.” He started with the “Today Show” in the late 1950’s after bringing back a variety of animals from Africa on a 23-day trip by freighter and eventually became a regular on the NBC “Today Show” appearing as their wildlife correspondent every two weeks for 15 years beginning in the late 1980’s.
Starting in 1964, he became a regular on the Johnny Carson Show and appeared over 80 times until Carson retired in 1992. At that time, Mr. Fowler and his wife took Johnny and his family on a safari to Africa.
Other highlights of Mr. Fowler’s career include lecturing widely for many years with his trained animals before audiences of every kind. He always delivered a strong educational message to people of all ages concerning the importance of the Natural World to our human welfare.
In 1962, Mr. Fowler became the co-host with Marlin Perkins of the award-winning program “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” which ran until 1989. During that time, he traveled all over the world filming wildlife and wild places while serving as a “spokesperson for the Natural World.” He has served on the board of many conservation organizations including the prestigious “Explorer’s Club” from which he received the Club’s highest award, the “Explorer’s Club Medal” in 1994, and, in 2003, was appointed the Club’s Honorary President.
Mr. Fowler was one of the best known wildlife experts in the world as well as one of the most popular communicators to the American public about the importance of the Natural World to our lives.
Mr. Crosby was the Founder and Chairman of The Rust Group, a private investment partnership involved in real estate, cable television, satellite communications, media, entertainment, banking and oil field services, and he began his career in the cable industry at its infancy by organizing one of the first private entities to receive a license from the FCC to transmit television signals via microwave. He constructed, owned and operated cable television systems in the United States, Latin America and Europe. He founded Tescorp, Inc., a publicly traded company as well as GenCoe, Inc. / United Cable TV, Telesystems International, Inc., Communications Properties, Inc. / Times Mirror, Inc. and Prime Cable, Inc. Mr. Crosby was a former Director and Chairman of the National Cable Television Association and was inducted into the National Cable Television Hall of Fame. He founded two venture capital partnerships which held investments in communications, media, entertainment, manufacturing and technology, co-founded Galveston-Houston, Inc. and partnered with Warburg Pincus and HBO in funding the Orion Pictures purchase of Filmways. He served as a director of Orion from 1982-85. He was a long time owner and operator of radio stations across the U.S. and was Chairman of Theater Acquisitions, L. P., a limited partnership which owned 135 theatre screens located in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands. He was also Chairman of The Sundance Institute, founded by Robert Redford as well as a Director and an interim acting CEO of Imagine Films Entertainment, Inc. Mr. Crosby received his BBA from the University of Texas at Austin.