Istvan Ferencz Udvar Hazy Net WorthReal Name: Istvan Ferencz Udvar Hazy
Date of Birth: 1946
Place of Birth: Budapest, Hungary
2017 Net Worth: $3.7 Billion
Profession: Chairman and CEO of Air Lease Corporation
Steven Udvar Hazy Biography
Steven Udvar Hazy was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1946. His family came to America in 1958 while fleeing the Soviet occupation of Hungary. Hazy attended University High School in Los Angeles and the University of California, also in Los Angeles, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Science.
Hazy was a certified jet pilot and started his own California commuter airline but had a difficult time turning a profit. Hazy was still in his 20’s when airplanes began changing from propeller type aircraft to jet engines. He realized that it would take a higher capital investment to purchase jet airplanes. Along with two other partners, in 1973 Hazy co-founded a leasing program called International Lease Finance Corporation. He began by leasing one used Douglas DC-8 to AeroMexico. From this single plane operation, ILFC became one of the largest plane leasing companies in the world. In 1990, Hazy sold ILFC to AIG for $1.3 billion. He began another leasing company Air Lease Corporation in 2010 and took it public in 2011. He is in direct competition with AIG and is currently involved in a lawsuit with AIG, who accuses him of stealing trade secrets.
In July of 2014, Hazy placed orders with Airbus for 60 jets, worth $7 billion, then with Boeing for 26 jets, for almost $4 billion. This is in addition to the 33 planes he ordered in 2013. In addition to ordering jets, Hazy is a generous man, giving $66 million to the Smithsonian Institution, which allowed for the building of the Steven. F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington Dulles International airport. This annex will hold more than 120 planes and 140 space exploration exhibits as well as the Space Shuttle Discovery.
Hazy keeps a low profile and rarely grants interviews even though you might see his name on certain airlines such as Air France and Cathay Pacific. Hazy has stated that growing up behind the Iron Curtain made him feel like a prisoner and that flying has made him feel free. With a net worth of $3.7 billion, Hazy can afford to feel free as a bird.