Ed Snider

Edward Malcolm Snider[1] (January 6, 1933 – April 11, 2016) was an American business executive. He was the chairman of Comcast Spectacor, a Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company that owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League; the Wells Fargo Center; the regional sports network Comcast SportsNet; and Global Spectrum, an international facilities management company. He formerly owned the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, and was part-owner of the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.

Ed Snider
Ed Snider by Michael Alan Goldberg.jpg
Ed Snider in 2010 (photograph by Michael Alan Goldberg)
Edward Malcolm Snider

January 6, 1933
Washington, D.C., United States
DiedApril 11, 2016(2016-04-11) (aged 83)
Montecito, California, United States
EducationUniversity of Maryland
Spouse(s)Myrna Gordon (divorced)
Martha McGeary (divorced)
Christine Decroix (divorced)
Lin Spivak (2013–2016; his death)
Children4 with Myrna Snider
2 with Martha McGeary
AwardsHockey Hall of Fame (1988)

Early life and educationEdit

Snider was born to a Jewish family in the Washington, D.C. region, the son of a grocery-store chain owner.[2] He attended the University of Maryland and earned his bachelor's degree.[3]

Business careerEdit

Snider became a partner in Edge Ltd., a record company, and sold the company to join Jerry Wolman (builder) and his brother-in-law Earl Foreman (attorney) to buy the Philadelphia Eagles in 1964. He was given a 7% stake in the team, and served as vice president and treasurer.[4]

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, taking over as chairman of the board. In 1974 Snider created Spectacor as a holding company for the Flyers and the Spectrum. The Flyers became the first NHL expansion team to win the Stanley Cup in 1974, and to repeat as champions in 1975.[5]

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 Wells Fargo Center) in 1988.[citation needed]

Prior to the Wells Fargo 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.[6]

In 2005, Snider became a prominent investor in a Foxwoods slots casino proposed for the waterfront in Philadelphia.[7] In September 2008, facing massive opposition at the originally intended site, backers for the slots casino decided to seek a new location in the Center City area, next to Philadelphia's Chinatown community.[8]

Nonprofit organizationsEdit

In 1985, Snider was one of the founding contributors of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), which was established by the philosopher Leonard Peikoff to promote Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.[9] In 1990, after a dispute between ARI and philosopher David Kelley, Snider became a backer of Kelly's rival organization, the Institute for Objectivist Studies (now known as The Atlas Society).[10]

In 2003, Snider became a founding board member of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (now named Beyond Celiac.) [11] He continued to support the organization until his death in 2016.

In 2005, Snider created the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation to provide a means to reach inner-city children in the Philadelphia area and provide them with the opportunity to learn to play hockey.[12][13][14]

Honors and awardsEdit

In 1988, Snider was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 1997, Snider was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.[15]

In 2005, Snider was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. In 2011, Snider was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.[16][17]

In 2012, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association renamed its Humanitarian Award as the Ed Snider Lifetime Distinguished Humanitarian Award, with Ed Snider as the first recipient of the newly named award.

Personal lifeEdit

Snider's children are Jay, Craig, Lindy, Tina, Sarena and Samuel. He had 15 grandchildren at the time of his death. Jay Snider served as president of the Philadelphia Flyers from 1983 to 1994, and president of Spectacor, Inc. from 1987 to 94.[18]

Snider was married four times. His first marriage was to Myrna Gordon.[19][20] They had four children and divorced in 1981. In 1983, he married model Martha McGeary[2] with whom he had two children. They later divorced.[21]

In 2004, he married Belgian Christine Decroix (born 1957), a former singer for the Belgian girl-pop group the Lovelettes in the 1970s; they divorced in 2009.[22][23] He married his fourth wife, Lin Spivak (born 1968), on February 14, 2013.[24]

Snider was a brother of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.[25]


In 2014, Snider was treated for bladder cancer. Although he announced in September 2014 that he was "cancer free", the cancer subsequently returned. Snider died on April 11, 2016 at his home in Montecito, California. The Flyers wore a patch in his memory on the right shoulder, a black circle with "EMS" in white, for their Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Washington Capitals. For the following season, they wore a patch on the same shoulder, this one having Snider's signature in a black circle, with a line and the Flyers logo under the signature.[26][27]


  1. ^ Profile, Philly.com; accessed April 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b John Corr,"Ed Snider: A Nice Guy Who Finished First", Philadelphia Inquirer, May 6, 1986.
  3. ^ Profile, Ethicsandentrepreneurship.org; accessed April 11, 2016.
  4. ^ Profile, Jewishvirtuallibrary.org; accessed April 11, 2016.
  5. ^ Meltzer, Bill (May 27, 2010). "A History of the Flyers in the Final". NHL.com. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  6. ^ Vetrone, Jr., Bob (May 25, 1999). "People's Choice: Wilt Is Philly's Greatest In The Closest Race Of Them All". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  7. ^ Foxwoods website; accessed April 11, 2016.
  8. ^ Gates, Kellie Patrick (October 9, 2008). "DiCicco gets earful at Foxwoods forum". PlanPhilly (a project of PennPraxis). Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  9. ^ Merrill, Ronald E. (2013). Ayn Rand Explained: From Tyranny to Tea Party. Chicago: Open Court. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-8126-9798-8.
  10. ^ Walker, Jeff (1999). The Ayn Rand Cult. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court Publishing. p. 188. ISBN 0-8126-9390-6.
  11. ^ "NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR CELIAC AWARENESS - Form 990 for period ending Oct 2003 - Nonprofit Explorer".
  12. ^ "History". Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. Archived from the original on November 24, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
  13. ^ Hill, Miriam (December 28, 2011). "Hockey helps youths skate a straight line". Philly.com. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
  14. ^ Hartman, Neil (September 13, 2011). "Ed Snider gives back with Youth Hockey Foundation". Comcast SportsNet Philly L.P. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
  15. ^ Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame "Ed Snider – Class of 1997 – Sports Administration", phillyjewishsports.com; retrieved March 21, 2013
  16. ^ "Ed Snider leads hockey hall inductees". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 13, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  17. ^ Isaac, Dave (December 12, 2011). "Ed Snider Enters U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame". Philly Sports Daily. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  18. ^ "Executive Profile: Jay T. Snider". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  19. ^ New York Times: "1992 Wedding For Miss Snider", nytimes.com, December 1, 1991
  20. ^ Bonnie L. Cook, "Myrna Snider Thomas, 78, former wife of Flyers owner", philly.com; May 25, 2014.
  21. ^ Stu Bykofsky, Philly News: "Love story – MARTHA SNIDER'S GIFT FROM GOD" Archived December 31, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, tinangel.com, November 12, 2002.
  22. ^ "Pulse: People: Meet the New Mrs. Snider – Ed's bride dishes on her wedding, her jewelry line, and — ready for this? — her ties to Michael Jackson", phillymag.com, April 29, 2008.
  23. ^ Philly.com
  24. ^ Randy Miller (May 22, 2013). "Flyers owner Ed Snider on criticism, team's future, Bryzgalov". USA Today.
  25. ^ Profile, Greek101.com; accessed April 11, 2016.
  26. ^ Isaac, Dave (September 13, 2014). "Flyers Owner Ed Snider Says He's Cancer-Free". USA Today. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  27. ^ Panaccio, Tim (April 11, 2016). "Flyers Founder, Owner Ed Snider Dies". NBC10.com. Retrieved April 11, 2016.

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