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Founder and Chairman
Discovery Communications, Inc.
John S. Hendricks is the Founder and Chairman of Discovery Communications, the leading global real-world media and entertainment company. Hendricks created the Discovery Channel in 1982 as the first cable network in the United States designed to provide high quality documentary programming enabling people to explore their world and satisfy their natural curiosity.
Hendricks has been the driving force behind Discovery’s dramatic growth including the expansion of Discovery Communications from its core property, the Discovery Channel, to current global operations in more than 160 countries with 1.3 billion total subscribers. Under Hendricks’ leadership, Discovery’s stable of networks now encompass over 100 networks of distinctive programming representing 27 entertainment brands including TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids and Discovery Times Channel. Discovery’s other properties consist of Discovery Education and Discovery Commerce, which operates 116 Discovery Channel Stores.
As one of the leading visionaries in the media industry, Hendricks has been honored with a Primetime Emmy Award and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences highest honor, the Governors Award, for conceiving the TLC series, Great Books. Hendricks was the first corporate leader to receive the National Education Association’s Friend of Education award for “innovations in education and technology and greatly expanding educational opportunity for America’s schoolchildren.” In 2003, Hendricks was inducted into the Cable Center Hall of Fame, which “honors men and women whose achievements have provided service to the cable industry and contributed significantly to cable’s growth and development and to the people, communities, and organizations served by cable TV.”
Hendricks serves on the Board of Directors of a number of non-profit organizations including the American Film Institute and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. Hendricks also serves on the Advisory Board of Lowell Observatory.
Previous to 1982, Hendricks founded and served as president of the American Association of University Consultants (AAUC), a private consulting organization he founded which specialized in television distribution, marketing and fundraising for educational programs and services. Hendricks holds a B.A. in History (magna cum laude, 1973) and an honorary doctorate (1991) from the University of Alabama, Huntsville.