Commercial Radio’s founder George Ho Ho-chi dies aged 95
Phila Siu and Amy Nip
George Ho Ho-chi, the Hong Kong media mogul who founded Commercial Radio, died yesterday aged 95.
Ho died peacefully surrounded by relatives at the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital in Happy Valley.
"Everyone at Commercial Radio is saddened. We miss him very much," said the radio station's general manager, Rita Chan Ching-han. "We will always remember his doctrines and principles - social responsibility, not profit, comes first."
Ho was a low-profile and kind-hearted person who "really cared" about the radio staff, she added.
Ho was reported to have been suffering from cancer.
Born in the US in 1918, he was the fifth son of the late tycoon Sir Robert Hotung. He studied at King's College in Hong Kong before returning to the US, where he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ho founded Commercial Radio in 1959 when he inherited HK$50,000 from his father.
He branched out, founding Commercial Television in 1975, but the station closed three years later.
In 2001, Ho was awarded a Gold Bauhinia Star for his contribution to society.
Peter Lam Yuk-wah, vice-president of the Televisioners Association, who worked with Ho at Commercial Television, was one of four staff who protested at Government House when the station closed in 1978.
"We were prosecuted for illegal gathering. Ho thought we broke the law for public justice, so he promised to pay for our legal fees," Lam recalled.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying expressed sadness at Ho's death.
"Over the years, he dedicated himself to serving the Hong Kong community and his generous contributions to education benefited generations of students," Leung said.
Ho held the position of honorary chairman at Commercial Radio until his death.
He is survived by his daughter, Linda Ho, and son, George Joseph Ho, the station's chairman.