Samuel Zell Net WorthReal Name: Samuel Zell
Date of Birth: 09/28/1941
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois
2017 Net Worth: $4.9 Billion
Profession: Chairman of Equity Group Investments
Samuel Zell Biography
Sam Zell was born in September of 1941 in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career early, buying copies of Playboy magazine and then reselling them to boys in his neighborhood for a 600 percent profit. He attended Highland Park High School in Illinois, and graduated in 1963 with a BA from the University of Michigan. He then attended the University of Michigan Law School where he graduated in 1966 with a JD.
Zell began applying the same kind of principal when it came to investing in real estate. He began by talking himself into a property management role with a local landlord, then buying distressed properties, fixing them up, and renting them out to students. Zell was a very hands-on type of landlord who put a great deal of energy into scouting and then fixing up local properties.
In 1969, Zell and his partner, Robert Lurie, formed Equity Properties Management Corporation. Zell began to rapidly diversify investments in real estate. He began to acquire office space under the aegis of Equity Office Properties Trust. Zell polished his skills as a salesman and convinced an increasing number of investors to entrust him with their money. Equity Properties Management grew throughout the 70’s, but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that Zell seized his opportunity to become a huge real estate mogul. When real estate crashed in the mid-1980’s, Zell acquired both office and residential properties at very low prices. With his entry into the public market in the 1990’s, Zell became known as the founding father of the modern real estate industry.
Equity Office Properties Trust was purchased by the Blackstone Group in 2007 for $39 billion, at the time, the largest leveraged buyout ever. Either by himself or with partners, Zell has owned the Schwinn Bicycle company, Santa Fe Energy Resources, Broadway Department stores, Revco Drugstores, and the mattress company Sealy, just to name a few. Zell has a current net worth of $4.9 billion and shows no signs of slowing down or stopping his mega-enterprise.