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Sam Zell Net Worth in 2023

Sam Zell Net Worth

Sam Zell Net Worth

What was Sam Zell Net Worth?

Sam Zell, an American businessman, was lifeless in May 2023 at the age of 81 and had a net worth of $6 billion. Sam Zell made his wealth by gaining commercial buildings in need of repair and either hanging onto them or selling them after a compelling gain in value. Equity Group Investments (EGI) was the name of his principal investing firm. For $39 billion, he sold Blackstone Group his office building company, Equity Office Properties Trust, in 2007.

Early Life

Sam Zell was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 28, 1941. In Chicago, Illinois, Zell was born into a Jewish every day not long after his parents fled Nazi control in Poland. This resilient and entrepreneurial family heritage had a compelling impact on Zell's drive for success.

At the University of Michigan, Zell studied for his undergraduate degree in arts before going on to earn his law degree there. While still a student, he made his first step into real estate investing by co-managing and owning student housing complexes with his fraternity brother, Robert H. Lurie.

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Equity Group Investments

The beginning of Zell's official real estate investing career came with the founding of Equity Group Investments in 1968 by Zell and Lurie. In line with Zell's "contrarian" investment philosophy, the business first concentrated on buying troubled real estate holdings. He looked for discounted buildings, sure he could turn them into successful businesses.

For $39 billion, Zell sold Equity Group Investments to Blackstone in 2007. His timing would turn out to be exceptional/lucky in both ways. The real estate market crashed within a year, showing in the Great Recession of 2008–2009. A year later, he would have received a far lower price had he tried to sell the company.

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Expansion and Diversification

Under Zell's direction, Equity Group Investments grew fastly and eventually became a gigantic empire of publicly traded businesses, adding Equity Residential, the biggest apartment owner in the United States. He also broadened the scope of his financial interests, investing in the energy industry through Covanta Holding Corp., logistics amongst Prologis, and healthcare through CareTrust REIT.

Tribune Company Acquisition

By purchasing the Tribune Company, a media empire that involved the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and a number of television stations, in 2007, Zell joined the media business. Even though the $8.2 billion acquisition appeared to be a good one at first, the business filed for bankruptcy a year later because of excessive debt and dwindling advertising income. Despite the bankruptcy, Zell maintained his image as a clever and adventurous investor and thrived in his other business endeavors. In the end, Zell lost more than $300 million on the transaction.

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Philanthropy and Civic Involvement

In addition to his financial successes, Zell was active in a number of charitable projects. The Zell Family Foundation, which makes donations to a diversity of organizations like education, medical research, and the arts, was founded by him and his wife Helen. Additionally, the pair provided funding for the Israel-based Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya's Zell Entrepreneurship Program.

Along with his support of his alma school, the University of Michigan, Zell is actively involved in his community as the former chairman of the board of trustees at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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At the age of 81, Sam Zell passed away on May 18, 2023.

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