GMA Network Founder Gilberto Duavit Sr. Has Passed Away
Gilberto Duavit Sr., the founding chairman of listed media firm GMA Network Inc., has passed away at the age of 84, according to an announcement made by the broadcast network on Friday morning.
Duavit, along with fellow businessmen Felipe Gozon and Menardo Jimenez, took over what was formerly known as the Republic Broadcasting System (RBS) in 1974, when he assumed chairmanship for three years. The three are credited for growing GMA into one of the country’s largest media networks.
He was reappointed as a director in 2016 and sat on the board with his son Gilberto Duavit Jr., who currently serves as GMA’s president and COO.
His ownership of GMA has made him a consistent member of business magazine Forbes’ annual Philippine rich list. In the list released last September, Forbes estimated his wealth at $135 million, making him the 46th wealthiest person in the country.
Aside from being a businessman, Duavit also had an extensive history as a government official. Most notably, he served as the representative of the first district of Rizal province from 1992 to 2001. That same position is currently held by his son, Michael John Duavit.
He graduated with a law degree from the University of the East Manila and holds a doctorate degree from the University of Rizal System.