Dorothy Stimson Bullitt (Dorothy Stimson Bullitt)

Dorothy Stimson Bullitt

Broadcast Pioneer, Businesswoman. She was the first woman to own and operate a television station in the United States. She created one of the nation’s greatest broadcasting empires, establishing television and radio properties in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Boise, Spokane and Honolulu, along with cable and business operations in Washington, Oregon and California. She acquired her father’s real estate and lumber holdings during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Widowed at the age of 40, with no personal experience in real estate or business, she went about rebuilding the family fortune over the next two decades. In 1947 she purchased failing Seattle radio station KEVR-AM, changing the station’s call letters to KING-AM. The following year she purchased her second broadcast property, acquiring what would become classical music station KING-FM. In 1949 she ventured into the field of television, purchasing KRSC-TV, once again changing the station’s call letters to KING-TV. She served as the president of the King Broadcasting Company from 1949 to 1961 and as a board member of the corporation until 1977. In 1959 she was named by the Seattle and King County Association of Realtors as Seattle’s first citizen, and was instrumental in helping to raise funds to build both the Seattle Public Library and Children’s Orthopedic Hospital. Active in civic affairs, she served on the boards of Safeco Insurance Company, Pacific National Bank, and as a board regent at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1985 she appeared on the Forbes Magazine’s list for the first time, as one of America’s 400 richest individuals, with an estimated personal fortune of $275 million dollars. At the time of her death four years later her family fortune was believed to be in excess of over $480 million dollars. In 2001 her life story was depicted in the autobiography “Dorothy Stimson Bullitt: An Uncommon Life.” She died peacefully at her Seattle home at the age of 97. (bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.)  Family links:  Parents:  Charles Douglas Stimson (1857 – 1929)  Harriet Overton Stimson (1862 – 1936)  Spouse:  Alexander Scott Bullitt (1877 – 1932)  Children:  Charles Stimson Bullitt (1919 – 2009)*  Dorothy Priscilla Bullitt Collins (1920 – 2003)*  Sibling:  Thomas Douglas Stimson (1884 – 1931)*  Dorothy Stimson Bullitt (1892 – 1989) *Calculated relationship


  • February, 05, 1892
  • USA


  • June, 06, 1989
  • USA


  • Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park
  • Washington
  • USA

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