Sam Zell
Real Estate Tycoon

Sam Zell Net Worth: $4.3 Billion

Sam Zell is an American entrepreneur and a self-made billionaire. He serves as the Chairman of Equity Group Investments, which is a private investment company he co-founded with Robert H. Lurie in 1968. He is also the founder of Equity International, which is a private investment company that’s mainly focused on building real estate-related businesses in international emerging markets.

Zell also serves as the Chairman of various public companies that are listed on the NYSE, including Equity Residential, Equity LifeStyle Properties, Covanta Holding Corp, and Anixter. 

Zell was born on 27th September, 1941 in Chicago Illinois to a Jewish family.  He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1963 with a BA, and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School with a JD. Today, he is one of the most financially successful people in the United States. He has an estimated net worth of $4.3 billion.

He accumulated his wealth through real estate and private equity. He steered clear of the single family housing market during the credit collapse and the wake of real estate. 

Zell’s empire includes ventures in segments as diverse as energy, hospitality, finance, transportation, communications and healthcare. He is nicknamed ‘Grave Dancer’ for his amazing abilities to profit from distressed-asset investing. Through his co-founded firm Equity Group Investments, Zell cleaned up a collection of distressed public and private companies over the years.

Meanwhile, he has expanded overseas via up-and-coming markets fund Equity International, raising an estimate of $2 billion. The money is intended for investing in real estate and homebuilder- related companies in Colombia, Brazil, India, Mexico and China among others. 

Zell, among few others, is considered the father of the REIT industry, having cofounded three of the biggest publicly traded real estate investments firms in history. Zell is also an avid philanthropist, who has contributed millions of dollars towards various causes.

He is also considered to be one of the major donors to causes in Israel. The self-made billionaire has been married thrice in his life. He has three children.

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References:

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