Media doyen Ramoji Rao dies at 87; Know early life, career, awards, other details

Ramoji Rao was self-made man and his story is inspirational to many.

By  Storyboard18Jun 8, 2024 3:52 PM
Media doyen Ramoji Rao dies at 87; Know early life, career, awards, other details
From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to SS Rajamouli, people from politics, sports, and films expressed grief at Ramoji Rao's death.

Veteran business tycoon and media baron Ramoji Rao passed away on June 8, 2024. Rao was 87. He died while undergoing treatment at Star Hospital in Hyderabad on Saturday. The mortal remains were shifted to his residence in the famous Ramoji Film City.

Ramoji Rao was self-made man and his story is inspirational to many. The eminent businessman rose to fame after he launched the largest circulated Telugu daily, Eenadu in 1974.

Rao has launched several successful businesses such as ETV bouquet of channels, the world's largest film city Ramoji Film City, Dolphin group of hotels, Margadarsi Chit Fund, film production company Ushakiran movies, and Priya Foods among others, PTI news agency reported.

'Ramoji Rao birth and early life'

Cherukuri Ramoji Rao was born on November 16, 1936, in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh.

Despite being from a farmer's family, Rao ventured into the media industry in 1969 by launching 'Annadata' magazine.

Before this, Rao started a Margadarsi Chit Fund in 1962 that served customers in southern states.

He launched the Eenadu newspaper in 1974 whose wide and in-depth coverage became popular among readers.

According to the PTI, several Telugu words coined by Eenadu daily became part of the Telugu lexicon after the entry of the internet.

He also created ETV, the first satellite entertainment channel in Telugu after the end of Doordarshan's monopoly in 1984. The ETV Network comprises 12 channels that airs shows in eight languages: Telugu, Bangla, Marathi, Kannada, Oriya, Gujarati, Urdu and Hindi.

Rao also headed Ramoji Group, including Ramoji Film City which has been recognised as the world's largest film city by Guinness World Records. Blockbuster film 'Bahubali' by SS Rajamouli was shot at the Ramoji Film City.

Rao is also the creator of Usha Kiran Movies, a film production company.

Beyond media, his other ventures included Priya Pickles, Dolphin Group of hotels, Kalanjali shopping mall, and Mayuri Film Distributor.

Ramoji Rao was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan in 2016. He also won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu as producer – Nuvve Kavali in 2000. He was also recipient of four Filmfare Awards and five Nandi Awards.

Ramoji Rao is survived by his wife Rama Devi and son Ch Kiran, who is heading the Eenadu group of publications and ETV. His younger son, Cherukuri Suman, died of leukemia on September 7, 2012.

Condolences to Ramoji Rao

From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to SS Rajamouli, people from politics, sports, and films expressed grief at Ramoji Rao's death.

"The passing away of Shri Ramoji Rao Garu is extremely saddening. He was a visionary who revolutionized Indian media. His rich contributions have left an indelible mark on journalism and the world of films. Through his noteworthy efforts, he set new standards for innovation and excellence in the media and entertainment world," PM Narendra Modi posted on the X platform.

"My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Padma Vibhushan, Shri Ramoji Rao Garu, a pioneering figure in the Indian media industry. His contributions to journalism, cinema, and entertainment have left a lasting impact and transformed the media landscape," Congress MP Rahul Gandhi wrote.

TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu said Rao left an indelible mark on the lives of Telugu people and his death is a loss not just to the state but the country. Naidu added, "His way of saying good is good and bad is bad... brought me closer to him. He is an inspiration to me in fighting problems."

Actor Rajnikanth also condoled Rao's death. He wrote, "The man who created history in Journalism, Cinema and a great kingmaker in Politics. He was my guide and inspiration in my life. May his soul rest in peace."

Filmmaker SS Rajamouli took to social media to share his tribute: “ONE man with his 50 years of resilience, hardwork and innovation provided employment, livelihood and hope for millions. The only way we can pay tribute to Ramoji Rao garu is conferring him with BHARAT RATNA."


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First Published on Jun 8, 2024 3:52 PM

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