Tele-Communications, Inc. or TCI was a cable television provider in the United States, for much of its history controlled by Bob Magness and John Malone.The company came into being in 1968, following the merger of Western Microwave, Inc. and Community Television, Inc. It was the largest cable operator in the United States at one time.After going public in 1970, the company grew rapidly, and became the top cable provider in the United States. After a failed merger attempt with Bell Atlantic in 1994, it was purchased in 1999 by AT&T, whose cable television assets were later acquired by Charter Communications and then Comcast Corporation.HistoryAfter graduating from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Bob Magness was a cotton seed salesman and cattle rancher. In 1956, he met two men who were stranded and needed a ride. Learning that they wanted to build a community antenna system in Paducah, Texas, he decided to raise the money for a similar system in Memphis, Texas. He sold his cattle, took out a mortgage on his home and borrowed $2500 from his father. His wife did the office work while Bob put up the wires himself.