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Joseph Segel (1931–2019), founder of QVC

Joseph Segel (1931–2019), founder of QVC

by Linnea Crowther

Joseph Segel was the founder of the TV shopping channel QVC. Inspired by watching the Home Shopping Network, Segel created a competitor with a different technique, skipping the hard sell and limited-time offers in favor of providing viewers with information about the products and letting them purchase them any time. Segel founded QVC in 1986 and remained its chairman until 1993, when he retired and took on an advisory role that he kept until 2013. Segel also founded the Franklin Mint, producer of collectible coins and other items including die-cast vehicles and LP record sets.

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Died: December 21, 2019 (Who else died on December 21?)


Details of death: Died in Gladwine, Pennsylvania at the age of 88.

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What people said about him: “QVC was his biggest accomplishment but his pride was Franklin Mint because Franklin Mint was so his baby. He built it from zero. Franklin Mint started with making a few coins literally and he bought a few presses and he minted coins and he looked for a better way to do it. … It evolved totally from the seed of his creative mind and it became quite large, a publicly traded, largest private mint in the world at one point.” —Alan Segel, Segel’s son

“Joe Segel was a remarkable leader, entrepreneur, marketer, teacher, and friend. I’ve had the privilege to know and learn from Joe during my 14 years with QVC and Qurate Retail. He was a visionary whose ideas changed the way the world shops. He instilled the ideas of customer focus and putting the customer first in everything we do. These founding values and Joe’s trailblazing spirit are still very much a part of who we are today.” —Mike George, president and CEO of QVC parent company Qurate Retail

Full obituary: Philadelphia Inquirer

Related lives:

  • Edward Dee (1924–2019), founder of Smarties Candy Company
  • Ron Joyce (1930–2019), cofounder of Tim Hortons donut chain
  • Paul Allen (1953–2018), Microsoft cofounder

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