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Lowell Hussey, Cable Marketing Pioneer, Dies

D. Lowell Hussey, a marketing leader and entrepreneur whose career included a rapid-growth period at Time Warner Cable in the 1980s and then at upstart wireless cable TV firm Cross Country Wireless in the 1990s, has died at age 67 in Portland, Ore., on Feb. 3. The cause was cancer, his family said.

"Lowell was a larger than life personality," his family said in a statement. "He combined his affable demeanor with a brilliant mind to help transform the television industry." At Time Warner Cable, where he was senior vice president of marketing and programming and worked from 1980 to 1992, "he was known for his innovative ideas, his robust way of communicating them, and the results they produced. Most importantly, he was a great people leader."

Lowell Hussey

Lowell Hussey

One speaker bio of Hussey noted that he "was an important player in the group of pioneers who introduced CNN, MTV, video on demand and cable ad sales to the world."

Char Beales, the former longtime CEO of cable TV marketing trade association CTAM (who ran the group after Hussey had left cable), said that "Lowell was a giant at CTAM. He inspired the members and was revered by the CTAM staff. Lowell stories are legendary."

A graduate of Babson College and Harvard Business School, Douglas Lowell Hussey also was a top executive at Cross Country Wireless, in Riverside, California, which provided competitive multichannel TV services using microwave spectrum, starting in the late 1980s. He helped negotiate the sale when Cross Country was acquired by Pacific Telesis in 1995 during that wave of Baby Bell entries into TV via wireless cable. Later he was involved in sports and real estate ventures, including introducing American football in Poland, and lately represented extreme surfer Garrett McNamara, according to his LinkedIn biography.

"Being fearless in his approach to life, Lowell found himself catching the early wave of cable TV, the wireless industry, and then of renewable energy and many tech startups," his family statement said. "His 'joie de vivre' led him to live and work all around the world, sucking the marrow out of life, while leaving his mark in each and every place he touched."

He is survived by his beloved wife, Aggie Cooke, his adoring son Maxx, and two brothers Dennis and Donald, the family said. "Lowell had an oversized impact on his many friends and extended family. While Lowell fought cancer bravely, his last years were eased by the constant attention and love of his wife, and the knowledge that his son was there to carry on his legacy. The two people who were as Lowell put it 'the best thing that had happened to him in his life' were there in the end, to ease his way."

The family will be honoring his life privately "and asks that as a tribute, you simply encourage someone, anyone, to dare greatly. That’s what Lowell would want and do."