Richard DeVos Net WorthReal Name: Richard DeVos
Date of Birth: 03/04/1926
Place of Birth: Grand Rapids, Michigan
2017 Net Worth: $5.7 Billion
Profession: Co-founder of Amway, owner of NBA basketball team Orlando Magic, author
Richard DeVos Biography
Richard DeVos was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in March of 1926. DeVos grew up during the Great Depression and states that he made his first sale, which netted him only pennies, driving in his grandfather’s Model T Ford. He offered rides to friends in high school for 25 cents a week. This is how he met his lifelong friend Jay Van Andel. He attended Calvin College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He served during World War II in the United States Army Air Corps.
DeVos and Van Andel attempted to sail to South America in 1949 but as the boat began to sink near Cuba they were lucky enough to be rescued by a passing freighter. DeVos and Van Andel then began their first business together, running a drive-in restaurant. The pair began to make real money, however, with their door-to-door business, Amway (which is short for American Way). They began selling multipurpose cleaners to friends, family, and door-to-door. Today, the company, which now is under Alticor after reorganization in 2000, has more than $11.8 billion in annual sales. Alticor is now run by the children of DeVos.
DeVos bought the NBA team, Orlando Magic, in 1991 for $85 million. He actually wanted to acquire a baseball team, but settled for basketball. He owned three International Hockey League franchises before the league folded. His son owns The Grand Rapid Griffins as a part of the American Hockey League. DeVos has written and published several books. One details his success in business, entitled “Believe!” He wrote another book describing his struggles before and after his heart transplant. DeVos ran for the governor of Michigan in 2006 but was defeated by the incumbent governor.
DeVos has a current net worth of $5.7 billion, which makes him one of the richest men in America.