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MCI founder Jack Goeken dies at 80

September 17, 2010 |  5:26 pm

John "Jack" Goeken, founder of telecom giant MCI, died Thursday in his hometown of Joliet, Ill., after a long battle with cancer. He was 80.

The Goeken Group Corp., a company he founded in Chicago's suburbs after MCI, announced his death.

Goeken (pronounced GOH'-ken) is widely viewed as the father of air-to-ground telephone communication.

As a founder of MCI and Airfone Inc., he sought to make communication possible anywhere people go — an idea that revolutionized the telecommunications industry.

He also won a reputation as "Jack the Giant Killer," because of his fervor for busting up communications monopolies like AT&T.

-- Associated Press