Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Telephone & Data Systems Inc.
Telephone & Data Systems Inc.

Telephone & Data Systems Inc.

This company, which grew by buying small independent telephone companies, was founded in 1968 by LeRoy T. Carlson, a Chicago native. In 1983, when Telephone & Data Systems (TDS) had its headquarters in Chicago, it created a subsidiary called United States Cellular Corp., which grew into one of the 10 largest wireless telecommunications companies in the country. After purchasing numerous smaller companies around the country, TDS claimed over five million customers in 35 states by the early 2000s. Led by one of LeRoy Carlson's sons at the LaSalle Street headquarters, the company grossed about $3 billion dollars in revenues and employed over 8,000 people in the Chicago area at that time.