Leonard Stern Net WorthReal Name: Leonard Stern
Date of Birth: 03/28/1938
Place of Birth: New York City, New York
2017 Net Worth: $5.4 Billion
Profession: Chairman and CEO of the Hartz Group
Leonard Stern Biography
Leonard Stern was born in New York City in March of 1938. Stern’s father, Max, had emigrated from Germany to America in the 1920’s. When his textile business failed, he brought 2,100 canaries from his homeland to the US to sell. Through the sale of these birds, bird cages, and other pet supplies, Stern’s father eventually built a very profitable business named Hartz Mountain Corporation (HMC).
Stern graduated from New York University in 1957 with an MBA and in the early 1960’s he had complete control over the family business. Hartz Mountain Corporation soon began to capture the lion’s share of the pet supply market by offering bird, cat, dog, and fish supplies in Woolworth, Newbury, and other department stores across America. By 1984, Hartz controlled as much as 90 percent of the American market of all pet supplies sold, earning more than $40 million profit each year.
In 1966, Stern began purchasing real estate to diversify his portfolio. He currently owns more than 38 million square feet of property in New York and New Jersey, along with more than 120 acres of undeveloped land. In Chicago, Stern own One Superior Place, a luxury tower located in the downtown area. He also owns other luxury apartment buildings located across the country. He owns the fashionable New York SoHo and Tribeca Grand Hotels. He is also well invested in natural resources including a large fracking site in Pennsylvania.
Stern sold the household pet portion of his company in 2000 for $350 million but his climb to the top of the ladder has not been without setbacks. He invested in the East Side Express in 1984, but was forced to close the gossip tabloid after just a few months due to poor sales. Stern was also beset by antitrust lawsuits in the early 1980’s and was forget to pay $40 million in a lawsuit settlement in 1984. Despite his problems, Stern has become one of the most successful businessmen in the United States and has a current net worth of $5.4 billion.