The History of McCourt
When the McCourts emigrated from Ireland to Boston in the mid-1800s, they brought with them a strong work ethic and a rock-solid faith in the American Dream. After working his way up from the bottom at the Boston Gas Light Company, John McCourt launched the John McCourt Company in 1893 — and, in the decades that followed, built something lasting: a construction business that would be passed down through the generations. The roads, highways, and airports the company built – and, eventually, new telecom and utility networks – became a part of the city’s character and a staple of the region’s infrastructure.
John McCourt, an Irish immigrant, launches the John McCourt Company in Boston, just as industry and innovation are beginning to change the shape of the city and the nation.
McCourt lays the foundation for what quickly becomes one of Boston’s most respected road-building businesses.
While the company will grow and diversify in the decades and generations to come, its focus on “building for tomorrow” will remain.
Frank McCourt, son of Francis, graduates from Georgetown University and launches the family’s multi-generational relationship with the institution.
World War II opens new doors to partnership and service for the John McCourt Company and the McCourt family. Working with the U.S. military, the company builds airports across New England.
The McCourt family plays a key role in the enlargement and modernization of what is later known as Logan International Airport.
Now running the family business, Francis McCourt becomes part-owner of the Boston Braves.
The Variety Club of New England and the Boston Braves together establish the Jimmy Fund, the first charity ever to advance research and treatment for children’s cancer. This would later inspire ThinkCure, the official charity of of the L.A. Dodgers organization.
1977 – Frank Launches The McCourt Company
Frank McCourt leaves his great-grandfather’s 80-year-old construction business to establish his own dream, The McCourt Company.
The McCourt Company purchases and develops Union Wharf Condominium on the iconic Boston Harbor and begins to acquire and renovate several multifamily residential projects on the waterfront as well as in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill areas of Boston.
McCourt purchases several large parcels in the emerging Fort Point district and quickly makes an impact, working closely with community leaders and city officials in Boston to develop a masterplan for what would become the Boston Seaport District today.
1970s – 1980s
The next generation, represented by brothers Richard, David, and Frank Jr., further expands and diversifies the family business. Richard continues the family’s large-scale infrastructure construction, including Boston’s “Big Dig”, and work at Logan International Airport. David adds telecommunications and media to the family business as he builds several industry-leading companies, such as MFS/McCourt, RCN, and C-TEC.
McCourt develops its first parking lot on Northern Avenue (the future Seaport Boulevard), expanding to 8 separate lots housing nearly 3,000 spaces by 2004.
As construction begins on the Big Dig in Boston, McCourt continues to play an active role alongside City officials, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and federal agencies, helping to inform how the major infrastructure projects would create better connectivity and to lay the groundwork for the Seaport. As a significant landowner in the district, McCourt worked closely with the MBTA on the design of a new station for the Silver Line extension.
McCourt purchases the Los Angeles Dodgers and 260 acres surrounding the stadium.
The McCourt Company relocates its headquarters to Los Angeles.
McCourt completes a landmark renovation project for Los Angeles’ beloved Dodger Stadium including full seating replacements in the bowl area, full renovation of the field level, stadium club improvements and safety enhancements including structural and seismic upgrades for an enhanced gameday experience.
McCourt acquires the operating rights to the Los Angeles Marathon, designing a visionary “Stadium to the Sea” course and later donated the for-profit endurance race business to the nonprofit McCourt Foundation.
Camelback Ranch, yet another ground-up project spearheaded by McCourt, opens in Glendale Arizona. The 13,000-seat stadium is presently the spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.
McCourt makes significant investments in philanthropic endeavors including a $100 million transformational gift to launch the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, which will contribute data-driven, policy-based research and solutions to the urgent policy issues of our time.
MG becomes 50 percent owner of the Global Champions League and Tour, the equestrian world’s most celebrated international show-jumping competition, which MG successfully exits in 2022.
MG provides a $45 million donation to help launch The Shed, a cutting-edge cultural arts center and community hub that is helping to revitalize Manhattan’s historic Hudson Yards neighborhood. The Shed names its iconic 17,000 square foot multi-use hall The McCourt, in recognition of Frank, who now sits on the board of directors.
MG develops the Unfinished initiative, uniting leaders and experts from across technology, academia, social impact, and the arts to imagine and create a thriving democracy and just economy. Unfinished develops a vibrant, international network of nearly one hundred partner organizations, and in 2021 and 2022, hosts the celebrated Unfinished Live convening in New York City.
Project Liberty’s institute (formerly The McCourt Institute) is established to prioritize digital governance in the development of the next generation of the internet. The institute’s founding academic partners include Georgetown University, Sciences Po, and Stanford University. It is collaborating with MIT’s Center for Constructive Communication and Cortico to support the creation of healthier social networks.
MG also has franchised the acclaimed Miami Celtics equestrian show-jumping team for multiple seasons, most recently in 2022, when the Celtics claimed the Global Champions League Super Cup.
MG is selected for inclusion in the “50 Leaders of Change” documentary series by Reuters.com. The series spotlights “companies leading the way towards a new tomorrow” and highlights MG’s efforts in launching Project Liberty.
Committed to sustainable and inclusive real estate development, McCourt Partners announces the donation of the Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit Project (LA ART) project to Zero-Emission Transportation (ZET), a local subsidiary nonprofit of Climate Resolve. This zero-emission urban gondola aims to transform LA transit by providing a safe, environmentally friendly connection from Union Station to Dodger Stadium in just seven minutes.
Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson steps into her new role as chief executive officer of MG.
With Frank McCourt now as Executive Chairman, McCourt Global operates with that same sense of responsibility to humanity, with a recognition of our place in history and a commitment to our civic life. More than a century after the original McCourt Company was founded, we remain focused on what has inspired our organization’s work from the very beginning: taking the high road and the long view to build for a better tomorrow.