Pete Coors

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Peter Hanson Coors (born September 20, 1946) is an American businessman and politician. He formerly served as the Chairman of the Molson Coors Brewing Company and Chairman of MillerCoors.[1]

Peter Coors was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in 2012.

Early life[edit]

Coors was born in Golden, Colorado. He is the great-grandson of Adolph Coors, the brewing entrepreneur, and the son of Holly Coors (born Edith Holland Hanson)[2] and Joseph Coors. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and then from Cornell University with a degree in engineering. A member of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity, Coors was elected to the Sphinx Head Society during his final year at Cornell. He also received his MBA from the University of Denver in 1970.


Coors has worked all of his life in various positions at his family's Coors Brewing Company.

In 1993, Coors became vice chairman and CEO of the company, and in 2002, he was named Chairman of Coors Brewing Company and Adolph Coors Company. In 2004, Pete Coors "made $332,402 in salary and a $296,917 bonus as chairman of Adolph Coors. He also received 125,000 stock options with a potential value of $13 million," according to the Rocky Mountain News.[3] However, he stepped down temporarily from these positions in 2004 to run for the US Senate. After the 2005 merger with Molson, Coors became a Class A Director in the newly formed Molson Coors Brewing Company.[4] In October 2006, he was appointed by the University of Colorado Hospital Board of Directors as chairman of the board for the new University of Colorado Hospital Foundation.

He has served on the boards of U.S. Bancorp, H. J. Heinz Company, HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership) Colorado, and Energy Corp. of America. He is also involved in civic organizations such as the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the National Western Stock Show Association. He is also part of the ownership group of the Colorado Rockies.[5] He is a member at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.[6] In 1997, Coors was granted an Honorary Doctorate from Johnson & Wales University, where he is a trustee. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the American Enterprise Institute.[7]

Senate run[edit]

When U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell declared in 2004 that he was retiring, Coors announced his candidacy. His opponent in the primary election was another conservative, former congressman Bob Schaffer. In their primary, the two candidates got into an ideological battle, as Schaffer attacked Coors because his company had provided benefits to the partners of its gay and lesbian employees, in addition to promoting its beer in gay bars. Coors defended himself by saying that he was opposed to same-sex marriage, and supported a constitutional amendment to ban it, although he noted that he supported civil unions for gay couples. According to the Rocky Mountain News, Coors described his company's pro-LGBT practices as "good business, separate from politics."[8] He defeated Schaffer with 61% of the vote in the primary, with many analysts citing his high name recognition in the state as a primary factor.

Coors faced Democrat and Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar in the November 2004 election, but Coors was defeated by a margin of 51% to 47%.[9]

According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics (CPS), Coors gave his own campaign $1,213,657 and received individual donations of $60,550 from other Coors family members. He was mentioned as a possible contender in the 2008 Senate election.[3]

Election results[edit]

Colorado U.S. Senate Race 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ken Salazar 1,081,188 51.3
Republican Pete Coors 980,668 47.4

Personal life[edit]

Coors is married to Marilyn Coors (born Grosso) and has six children.

On May 28, 2006, Coors was arrested by the Colorado State Patrol on suspicion of driving under the influence and registering a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit (0.088).[10] Coors commented on the incident, saying, "I should have planned ahead for a ride. For years, I've advocated the responsible use of our company's products. That's still my message, and our company's message. I am sorry that I didn't follow it myself."

On August 25, 2006, Coors pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while impaired. A judge sentenced Coors to 24 hours of community service, a suspended fine and ordered him to undergo alcohol education courses.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ a b Denver area Business News, Financial Info, Stocks, and Real Estate Data : Rocky Mountain News
  4. ^ Molson Coors Leadership Archived 2006-01-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Front Office Directory". Ownership Group. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
  6. ^ Augusta National Golf Club members list, USA Today
  7. ^ American Enterprise Institute Board of Trustees
  8. ^ Rocky Mountain News : Denver News, Business, Homes, Jobs, Cars, & Information
  9. ^ " Election 2004". CNN.
  10. ^ Denver Post
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from Colorado (Class 3)
Succeeded by
Ken Buck