Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Bill Daniels

 

 

The Life & Legacy
of Bill Daniels

2020 marks what would have been Bill Daniels' 100th birthday and is also the 20th anniversary of the Daniels Fund. On this important anniversary, we reflect on the life and legacy of Bill Daniels and the impact he has had on our four-state region of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, and on our nation.

Bill Daniels was a compassionate man with a sincere love and respect for all people, a knack for business, and a vision for continuing to make life better for others after a lifetime of generosity. Click here for Bill's full biography. To read his Philosophy Statements, click here.

Bill Daniels Timeline


Click the plus signs below for details about important milestones in Bill's extraordinary life.

Bill runs for governor of Colorado, but loses in the Republican Party primary.

Bill brings Utah its first professional sports team, the Utah Stars, which win the American Basketball Association championship in 1971. The team was forced into bankruptcy in 1975 as the league unraveled. Although Bill’s financial obligations were legally discharged, he returned to Salt Lake City five years later and repaid every season ticket holder, vendor, player, and employee – with 8% interest.

Bill continues to build his business through struggles and successes, ultimately owning hundreds of cable systems and brokering deals that shape the industry.

Bill founds Daniels & Associates to operate cable systems and provide financial advisory services to cable operators.

Bill Daniels opens his first cable television system on January 1, 1954 in Casper, Wyoming.

Bill Daniels sees television for the first time in Denver.

Bill returns to the U.S. Navy as a pilot in the Korean Conflict. He is instrumental in training Navy pilots during their transition to jet aircraft. He was a highly decorated commander by the end of his service.

Bill makes repeated trips into burning wreckage to rescue wounded shipmates after a devastating enemy attack on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. He is awarded the Bronze Star for “heroism, courage, and devotion to duty”

Bill Daniels enters World War II as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot.

Bill becomes a two-time New Mexico Golden Gloves Boxing champion.


Bill's parents enroll him in New Mexico Military Institute. He enters the school an unruly teen and emerges as a young leader with an understanding of the value of discipline.

Bill Daniels with his mother, Adele.

Bill Daniels is born on July 1, 1920 in Greeley, Colorado.

  • Bill runs for governor of Colorado, but loses in the Republican Party primary.

  • Bill brings Utah its first professional sports team, the Utah Stars, which win the American Basketball Association championship in 1971. The team was forced into bankruptcy in 1975 as the league unraveled. Although Bill’s financial obligations were legally discharged, he returned to Salt Lake City five years later and repaid every season ticket holder, vendor, player, and employee – with 8% interest.

  • Bill continues to build his business through struggles and successes, ultimately owning hundreds of cable systems and brokering deals that shape the industry.

  • Bill founds Daniels & Associates to operate cable systems and provide financial advisory services to cable operators.

  • Bill Daniels opens his first cable television system on January 1, 1954 in Casper, Wyoming.

  • Bill Daniels sees television for the first time in Denver.

  • Bill returns to the U.S. Navy as a pilot in the Korean Conflict. He is instrumental in training Navy pilots during their transition to jet aircraft. He was a highly decorated commander by the end of his service.

  • Bill makes repeated trips into burning wreckage to rescue wounded shipmates after a devastating enemy attack on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. He is awarded the Bronze Star for “heroism, courage, and devotion to duty”

  • Bill Daniels enters World War II as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot.

  • Bill becomes a two-time New Mexico Golden Gloves Boxing champion.


  • Bill's parents enroll him in New Mexico Military Institute. He enters the school an unruly teen and emerges as a young leader with an understanding of the value of discipline.

  • Bill Daniels with his mother, Adele.

    Bill Daniels is born on July 1, 1920 in Greeley, Colorado.

The Daniels Fund marks its 20th anniversary and what would have been Bill's 100th birthday. In its first 20 years, the Daniels Fund has distributed more than $877.6 million in grants and scholarships.


Bill Daniels passes away on March 7, 2000. He leaves $1.1 billion to the Daniels Fund to carry on his legacy of generosity. The Daniels Fund awards its first grants and scholarships that year.

Bill Daniels begins planning for his legacy, the Daniels Fund.

Bill and his crew set a new round-the-world speed record for a business class jet, with Bill's plane, Cablevision Tool.


The University of Denver renames the Daniels College of Business in Bill's honor.

Grand Prix article

Bill helps bring the Grand Prix in 1990 and 1991. Although he lost $6 million the first year, he supported a second year at $4 million so vendors and investors, including the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado, could recover their investments.

Bill makes his first of two major donations to the University of Denver, totalling $21 million, to incorporate ethics into the business cirriculum.

Daniels-United Artists Deal Article

Bill sells the majority of his cable operating systems to United Artists, allowing him to focus on the advisory and sports programming businesses.

Bill Daniels launches Young Americans Bank, the world's only bank exclusively for kids, to help teach young people financial literacy.

Bill Launches one of the nation's first regional sports networks, Prime Ticket Network, to broadcast L.A. Lakers and Kings games. With this deal, he becomes part owner of the Lakers.

Bill enters rehab at the Betty Ford Center after struggling with alcoholism much of his life. He was able to maintain sobriety, and talked openly about his battle with addiction, encouraged (and paying for) others to seek treatment. His experience inspired him to direct the Daniels Fund to support organizations that help people suffering from addiction.

Bill Daniels holding LA Express football helmet

Bill becomes one of the founding owners of the United States Football League, launching the LA Express as co-owner.

Bill helps Ted Turner raise money to launch CNN and becomes the second largest shareholder in Turner Broadcasting Systems.

  • The Daniels Fund marks its 20th anniversary and what would have been Bill's 100th birthday. In its first 20 years, the Daniels Fund has distributed more than $877.6 million in grants and scholarships.


  • Bill Daniels passes away on March 7, 2000. He leaves $1.1 billion to the Daniels Fund to carry on his legacy of generosity. The Daniels Fund awards its first grants and scholarships that year.

  • Bill Daniels begins planning for his legacy, the Daniels Fund.

  • Bill and his crew set a new round-the-world speed record for a business class jet, with Bill's plane, Cablevision Tool.


  • The University of Denver renames the Daniels College of Business in Bill's honor.

  • Grand Prix article

    Bill helps bring the Grand Prix in 1990 and 1991. Although he lost $6 million the first year, he supported a second year at $4 million so vendors and investors, including the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado, could recover their investments.

  • Bill makes his first of two major donations to the University of Denver, totalling $21 million, to incorporate ethics into the business cirriculum.

  • Daniels-United Artists Deal Article

    Bill sells the majority of his cable operating systems to United Artists, allowing him to focus on the advisory and sports programming businesses.

  • Bill Daniels launches Young Americans Bank, the world's only bank exclusively for kids, to help teach young people financial literacy.

  • Bill Launches one of the nation's first regional sports networks, Prime Ticket Network, to broadcast L.A. Lakers and Kings games. With this deal, he becomes part owner of the Lakers.

  • Bill enters rehab at the Betty Ford Center after struggling with alcoholism much of his life. He was able to maintain sobriety, and talked openly about his battle with addiction, encouraged (and paying for) others to seek treatment. His experience inspired him to direct the Daniels Fund to support organizations that help people suffering from addiction.

  • Bill Daniels holding LA Express football helmet

    Bill becomes one of the founding owners of the United States Football League, launching the LA Express as co-owner.

  • Bill helps Ted Turner raise money to launch CNN and becomes the second largest shareholder in Turner Broadcasting Systems.

Bill Daniels Timeline


Swipe left or right or click the dots for details about important milestones in Bill's extraordinary life. For a better timeline experience, rotate your device to landscape mode.

Bill Daniels with his mother, Adele.

1920

Bill Daniels is born on July 1, 1920 in Greeley, Colorado.


1937

Bill's parents enroll him in New Mexico Military Institute. He enters the school an unruly teen and emerges as a young leader with an understanding of the value of discipline.

1939

Bill becomes a two-time New Mexico Golden Gloves Boxing champion.

1941

Bill Daniels enters World War II as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot.

1944

Bill makes repeated trips into burning wreckage to rescue wounded shipmates after a devastating enemy attack on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. He is awarded the Bronze Star for “heroism, courage, and devotion to duty”

1950

Bill returns to the U.S. Navy as a pilot in the Korean Conflict. He is instrumental in training Navy pilots during their transition to jet aircraft. He was a highly decorated commander by the end of his service.

1952

Bill Daniels sees television for the first time in Denver.

1954

Bill Daniels opens his first cable television system on January 1, 1954 in Casper, Wyoming.

1958

Bill founds Daniels & Associates to operate cable systems and provide financial advisory services to cable operators.

1960s

Bill continues to build his business through struggles and successes, ultimately owning hundreds of cable systems and brokering deals that shape the industry.

1971

Bill brings Utah its first professional sports team, the Utah Stars, which win the American Basketball Association championship in 1971. The team was forced into bankruptcy in 1975 as the league unraveled. Although Bill’s financial obligations were legally discharged, he returned to Salt Lake City five years later and repaid every season ticket holder, vendor, player, and employee – with 8% interest.

1974

Bill runs for governor of Colorado, but loses in the Republican Party primary.

1980

Bill helps Ted Turner raise money to launch CNN and becomes the second largest shareholder in Turner Broadcasting Systems.

Bill Daniels with LA Express helmet

1982

Bill becomes one of the founding owners of the United States Football League, launching the LA Express as co-owner.

1985

Bill enters rehab at the Betty Ford Center after struggling with alcoholism much of his life. He was able to maintain sobriety, and talked openly about his battle with addiction, encouraged (and paying for) others to seek treatment. His experience inspired him to direct the Daniels Fund to support organizations that help people suffering from addiction.

1985

Bill Launches one of the nation's first regional sports networks, Prime Ticket Network, to broadcast L.A. Lakers and Kings games. With this deal, he becomes part owner of the Lakers.

1987

Bill Daniels launches Young Americans Bank, the world's only bank exclusively for kids, to help teach young people financial literacy.

Daniels cuts $190 million cable deal newspaper article

1988

Bill sells the majority of his cable operating systems to United Artists, allowing him to focus on the advisory and sports programming businesses.

1988

Bill makes his first of two major donations to the University of Denver, totalling $21 million, to incorporate ethics into the business cirriculum.

Downtown Grand Prix a unique event for Denver - newspaper article

1990

Bill helps bring the Grand Prix in 1990 and 1991. Although he lost $6 million the first year, he supported a second year at $4 million so vendors and investors, including the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado, could recover their investments.

1994

The University of Denver renames the Daniels College of Business in Bill's honor.

Bill Daniels with flight crew

1996

Bill and his crew set a new round-the-world speed record for a business class jet, with Bill's plane, Cablevision Tool.

1996

Bill Daniels begins planning for his legacy, the Daniels Fund.

2000

Bill Daniels passes away on March 7, 2000. He leaves $1.1 billion to the Daniels Fund to carry on his legacy of generosity. The Daniels Fund awards its first grants and scholarships that year.

Bill Daniels 100 years, Daniels Fund 20 years

The Daniels Fund marks its 20th anniversary and what would have been Bill's 100th birthday. In its first 20 years, the Daniels Fund has distributed more than $877.6 million in grants and scholarships.

  • Bill Daniels with his mother, Adele.

    1920

    Bill Daniels is born on July 1, 1920 in Greeley, Colorado.


  • 1937

    Bill's parents enroll him in New Mexico Military Institute. He enters the school an unruly teen and emerges as a young leader with an understanding of the value of discipline.

  • 1939

    Bill becomes a two-time New Mexico Golden Gloves Boxing champion.

  • 1941

    Bill Daniels enters World War II as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot.

  • 1944

    Bill makes repeated trips into burning wreckage to rescue wounded shipmates after a devastating enemy attack on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. He is awarded the Bronze Star for “heroism, courage, and devotion to duty”

  • 1950

    Bill returns to the U.S. Navy as a pilot in the Korean Conflict. He is instrumental in training Navy pilots during their transition to jet aircraft. He was a highly decorated commander by the end of his service.

  • 1952

    Bill Daniels sees television for the first time in Denver.

  • 1954

    Bill Daniels opens his first cable television system on January 1, 1954 in Casper, Wyoming.

  • 1958

    Bill founds Daniels & Associates to operate cable systems and provide financial advisory services to cable operators.

  • 1960s

    Bill continues to build his business through struggles and successes, ultimately owning hundreds of cable systems and brokering deals that shape the industry.

  • 1971

    Bill brings Utah its first professional sports team, the Utah Stars, which win the American Basketball Association championship in 1971. The team was forced into bankruptcy in 1975 as the league unraveled. Although Bill’s financial obligations were legally discharged, he returned to Salt Lake City five years later and repaid every season ticket holder, vendor, player, and employee – with 8% interest.

  • 1974

    Bill runs for governor of Colorado, but loses in the Republican Party primary.

  • 1980

    Bill helps Ted Turner raise money to launch CNN and becomes the second largest shareholder in Turner Broadcasting Systems.

  • Bill Daniels with LA Express helmet

    1982

    Bill becomes one of the founding owners of the United States Football League, launching the LA Express as co-owner.

  • 1985

    Bill enters rehab at the Betty Ford Center after struggling with alcoholism much of his life. He was able to maintain sobriety, and talked openly about his battle with addiction, encouraged (and paying for) others to seek treatment. His experience inspired him to direct the Daniels Fund to support organizations that help people suffering from addiction.

  • 1985

    Bill Launches one of the nation's first regional sports networks, Prime Ticket Network, to broadcast L.A. Lakers and Kings games. With this deal, he becomes part owner of the Lakers.

  • 1987

    Bill Daniels launches Young Americans Bank, the world's only bank exclusively for kids, to help teach young people financial literacy.

  • Daniels cuts $190 million cable deal newspaper article

    1988

    Bill sells the majority of his cable operating systems to United Artists, allowing him to focus on the advisory and sports programming businesses.

  • 1988

    Bill makes his first of two major donations to the University of Denver, totalling $21 million, to incorporate ethics into the business cirriculum.

  • Downtown Grand Prix a unique event for Denver - newspaper article

    1990

    Bill helps bring the Grand Prix in 1990 and 1991. Although he lost $6 million the first year, he supported a second year at $4 million so vendors and investors, including the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado, could recover their investments.

  • 1994

    The University of Denver renames the Daniels College of Business in Bill's honor.

  • Bill Daniels with flight crew

    1996

    Bill and his crew set a new round-the-world speed record for a business class jet, with Bill's plane, Cablevision Tool.

  • 1996

    Bill Daniels begins planning for his legacy, the Daniels Fund.

  • 2000

    Bill Daniels passes away on March 7, 2000. He leaves $1.1 billion to the Daniels Fund to carry on his legacy of generosity. The Daniels Fund awards its first grants and scholarships that year.

  • Bill Daniels 100 years, Daniels Fund 20 years

    The Daniels Fund marks its 20th anniversary and what would have been Bill's 100th birthday. In its first 20 years, the Daniels Fund has distributed more than $877.6 million in grants and scholarships.

Listen to the
Bill Daniels story on

In celebration of what would have been Bill Daniels' 100th birthday, we have partnered with Our American Stories to tell Bill Daniels' story. The result is a captivating 40-minute radio program and podcast featuring Bill telling his story in his own words.

Our American Stories is a storytelling radio program with 2.45 million weekly listeners on 226 radio affiliates across the country. Bill Daniels' story will air multiple times throughout the year and is also available on major podcast platforms.

Listen to the
Bill Daniels story on

In celebration of what would have been Bill Daniels' 100th birthday, we have partnered with Our American Stories to tell Bill Daniels' story. The result is a captivating 40-minute radio program and podcast featuring Bill telling his story in his own words.

Our American Stories is a storytelling radio program with 2.45 million weekly listeners on 226 radio affiliates across the country. Bill Daniels' story will air multiple times throughout the year and is also available on major podcast platforms.

Listen to the
Bill Daniels story on

In celebration of what would have been Bill Daniels' 100th birthday, we have partnered with Our American Stories to tell Bill Daniels' story. The result is a captivating 40-minute radio program and podcast featuring Bill telling his story in his own words.

Our American Stories is a storytelling radio program with 2.45 million weekly listeners on 226 radio affiliates across the country. Bill Daniels' story will air multiple times throughout the year and is also available on major podcast platforms.

Listen to the
Bill Daniels story on

In celebration of what would have been Bill Daniels' 100th birthday, we have partnered with Our American Stories to tell Bill Daniels' story. The result is a captivating 40-minute radio program and podcast featuring Bill telling his story in his own words.

Our American Stories is a storytelling radio program with 2.45 million weekly listeners on 226 radio affiliates across the country. Bill Daniels' story will air multiple times throughout the year and is also available on major podcast platforms.

Bill Daniels' Continuing Impact


Bill Daniels was one-of-a-kind, and without him, the Daniels Fund would not be celebrating 20 years of making a positive impact on people’s lives. Thank you to our founder for this extraordinary honor of carrying forward his legacy of giving. And thank you to all the grantees, scholars, partners, leaders, colleagues, and friends who have been an essential part of our work since the beginning.

Bill Daniels' legacy has helped young people get high quality educations, learn key life skills, and start on paths to success. It has helped seniors and people with disabilities maintain independence and quality of life. It has helped homeless, disadvantaged and those suffering from addiction rebuild their lives with stability and dignity. It has exposed people to a helpful framework for ethical decision-making. And much more.

Following is a look at the Daniels Fund's work over the last 20 years in each of the regions we operate in, with a sampling of stories from people and organizations that have been impacted.

Colorado

Colorado


Grants

Stories of Impact

Grants

  • 1,591 unique nonprofits supported
  • 6,632 grants
  • Total grants paid: $417.6 million
  • Largest grant: $5 million

Scholarships

  • 2,909 Daniels Scholars from 223 Colorado cities and towns across the state
  • Total Daniels Scholarships paid: $154.5 million
  • 197 Boundless Opportunity Scholarship grants awarded
  • Total Boundless Opportunity Scholarship grants distributed: $12.8 million

Stories of Impact

Brien Foster
Friend of Bill

Matthew Ayers
Grantee, Dream Centers

 

April Dominguez
Daniels Scholar Alumnus

Shuray Scott
Daniels Scholar Alumnus

Steve Schuck
Friend of Bill

Rich Jennings
Friend of the Daniels Fund

Tonia Nifong
Grantee, The Arc

Mike Talamantes
Friend of Bill

Watch More Stories of Impact

Steve Schuck
Friend of Bill

Rich Jennings
Friend of the Daniels Fund

Tonia Nifong
Grantee, The Arc

Mike Talamantes
Friend of Bill

New Mexico

New Mexico


Grants

Stories of Impact

Grants

  • 454 unique nonprofits supported
  • 1,341 grants
  • Total grants paid: $84.5 million
  • Largest grant: $20 million

Scholarships

  • 560 Daniels Scholars from 106 cities and towns across New Mexico
  • Total Daniels Scholarships paid: $21.9 million
  • 64 Boundless Opportunity Scholarship grants awarded
  • Total Boundless Opportunity Scholarship grants distributed: $2 million

Stories of Impact

Jade Rivera
Grantee, Teach for America

Page Nakai
Daniels Scholar

 

Caleb Jorgenson
Daniels Scholar

Joshua Burns
Daniels Scholar

Utah

Utah


Grants

Stories of Impact

Grants

  • 185 unique nonprofits supported
  • 558 grants
  • Total grants paid: $29.9 million
  • Largest grant: $5 million

Scholarships

  • 254 Daniels Scholars from 80 cities and towns across the state
  • Total Daniels Scholarships paid: $8.5 million
  • 51 Boundless Opportunity Scholarship grants awarded
  • Total Boundless Opportunity Scholarship grants distributed: $1.9 million

Stories of Impact

Catherine Findlay
Grantee, American Preparatory Schools

Mya Rigamoto
Daniels Scholar

 

Ronnie Daniel
Grantee, Alzheimer's Association, Utah Chapter

Beverly Amoah
Daniels Scholar

Wyoming

Wyoming


Grants

Stories of Impact

Grants

  • 325 unique nonprofits supported
  • 877 grants
  • Total grants paid: $61.5 million
  • Largest grant: $5 million

Scholarships

  • 426 Daniels Scholars from 79 cities and towns across Wyoming
  • Total Daniels Scholarships paid: $19.5 million
  • 26 Boundless Opportunity Scholarship grants awarded
  • Total Boundless Opportunity Scholarship grants distributed: $1 million

Stories of Impact

Kent Noble
Ethics Partner, University of Wyoming

Emilly Tinoco
Daniels Scholar

 

Alisha Rone
Grantee, Child Development Center

Cady Eaton
Daniels Scholar

Watch More Stories of Impact

Troy Cassity,
Ethics Participant

Jillian Wallace
Daniels Scholar

Troy Cassity,
Ethics Participant

Jillian Wallace
Daniels Scholar

National

National


Grants

Stories of Impact

Grants

  • 259 unique nonprofits supported
  • 705 grants
  • Total grants paid: $61.3 million
  • Largest grant: $5 million

Stories of Impact

Susan Marenoff-Zausner
Grantee, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

 

Ellen Stofan
Grantee, National Air and Space Museum

All numbers are from inception through December 31, 2019.

Do you have a story to share?

If you would like to share your own video about how Bill Daniels or the Daniels Fund has impacted you, you can record a video through the Storyvine app. There are four template options. Click the appropriate link below to sign up and get started!

Friend of Bill Daniels or the Daniels Fund, Daniels Scholar/Boundless Opportunity Scholar, Grantee, Ethics Participant

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