41. Richard S. LeFrak
Age: 65. Net worth: $4 billion.
Born in 1945 in New York, Richard LeFrak is chairman, president and the CEO of the LeFrak Organization, a privately held firm established by his Russian- born grandfather Harry, who came to the US from Palestine in 1900, reputedly with $4 in his pocket. Harry, who had learned glazing and carpentry, started out making lamps, set up a glass factory, and then began building homes, first in Brooklyn, after World War II.
Today the LeFrak Organization, one of the largest private real estate development companies in the world, is also active in oil and gas exploration, and financial investments. Like his father before him, LeFrak joined the family business while still in high school and now runs the company with his two sons.42. Donald NewhouseAge: 80. Net worth: $4 billion.
Born in New York in 1930, Donald Newhouse is the owner, together with his older brother S.I. Newhouse, of media conglomerate Advance Publications, started by their father Sam in the 1930s and currently ranked as the 46th largest private company in the US, according to Forbes. The Advance Publications media empire currently controls over 20 major US publications, including Condé Nast’s Vogue, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, along with daily newspapers, including Newark’s The Star-Ledger and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Like his brother, Donald attended the Horace Mann preparatory school, but did not finish university.
According to Bloomberg, Donald, “an atypically press-shy media mogul, is even more taciturn than S.I. Donald has focused more on his family’s newspaper holdings and cable properties.”43. Donald NewhouseAge: 26. Net worth: $4 billion.
The youngest self-made billionaire in the world at the age of 23, the still absurdly young Mark Zuckerberg is the chief executive of one of the world’s hottest and fastest growing computer properties. Born in Dobbs Ferry, New York, in 1984, Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room in February 2004. Facebook, which began operating purely as a university network, is now a global phenomenon with over 500 million users.
On International Holocaust Memorial Day 2008, President Shimon Peres urged Jews and Israelis to use Facebook to combat anti-Semitism following a meeting between Peres and Zuckerberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Questioned on the subject by Nick O’Neill, blogger and founder of the All Facebook Web site in an interview, Zuckerberg said “users can use these tools to connect and generate more worldly perspectives. As such, Facebook does not need to be proactive about it.”44. George R. RobertsAge: 66. Net worth: $3.8 billion.
Born in Houston in 1945, financier George Roberts is partner and co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which specializes in finding, financing and investing its own capital in buyout transactions. Since its establishment, KKR has invested approximately $100 billion in more than 75 transactions. Prior to founding KKR & Co., Roberts was in the corporate finance department of Bear Stearns, having become a partner at the age of 29.
A pioneer in venture philanthropy, the Roberts Foundation, established by Roberts and his wife, Leanne, has helped develop 23 non-profit businesses that employ the homeless, the mentally ill and recovering drug addicts.45. Bernard ShermanAge: 68. Net worth: $3.8 billion.
Born in 1942, Dr. Bernard Sherman is CEO of Apotex, the largest producer of generic drugs in Canada. Apotex, founded in 1974, produces more than 300 generic pharmaceuticals, exporting to 115 countries. Sherman entered the University of Toronto’s Engineering Science program at 16, and has a degree from MIT and an honorary doctorate from the Technion. His entry into pharmaceuticals came via his uncle’s company, Empire Laboratories, a pioneer in the generic drug industry.
Sherman was the first president of the United Jewish Welfare Fund, the UJA Federation’s predecessor, and is a contributor to Jewish organizations, including the UJA and the Joint Distribution Committee.46. Samuel ZellAge: 68. Net worth: $3.8 billion.
Samuel Zell was born in Chicago to parents who had escaped Poland only weeks before the Nazi invasion. After receiving his BA in 1963 from the University of Michigan and his law degree from the same university in 1966, Zell and his business partner Robert Lurie founded Equity Groups Investments. His fortune grew primarily through commercial realestate investments. In 2007, Zell gained controlling interest in the Tribune Co., whose assets include the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, eventually becoming the Tribune Co.’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board.
Zell is a major donor to the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center and to the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, a free-market oriented think tank.
In the US, his philanthropic focus is on American educational institutions, including the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and his alma mater.47. Pyotr AvenAge: 55. Net worth: $3.6 billion.
Born in Moscow, Aven is a financier and politician. After two years as a
leading research fellow at the International Institute of Applied
Systems Analysis in Austria, Aven held several political positions,
including head of the Committee for Foreign Economic Ties of the Russian
Federation Government, first deputy minister of the Russian Federation
and deputy chairman of the Russian Government’s Monetary and Economic
Commission. Aven met Mikhail Fridman, the head of the Alfa group, in
1994 and subsequently became a shareholder in Alfa Bank, the country’s
largest private bank, where he is now the president.
Along with Fridman, Aven was among the founders of the Genesis
Philanthropy Group whose mission is to develop Jewish identity among
Russian-speaking Jews worldwide.48. Frank Lowy and family
Age: 79. Net worth: $3.6 billion.
Lowy was born in Czechoslovakia, spent the war in Budapest, and made his
way to Palestine via a Cyprus detention camp after World War II. During
the War of Independence he fought with the Hagana in the Golani
Brigade. In the 1950s, Lowy moved to Australia, where most of his family
lived. There, he co-founded the Westfield Group, today considered to be
the world’s largest listed retail property group. It owns 119 malls in
Australia, New Zealand, the US and Great Britain. Lowy, the richest man
in Australia, is president of his country’s Football Federation. Lowy,
who maintains a home in Tel Aviv, funded the Institute for National
Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.49. Arnon Milchan
Age: 65. Net worth: $3.6 billion.
An 11th-generation sabra, Milchan was born in Rehovot during the British
Mandate. As a young man he played for Maccabi Tel Aviv and the national
soccer team, and served both in the Lakam intelligence unit, under Rafi
Eitan, and in the Mossad. Later, Milchan attended the London School of
Economics and the University of Geneva. Milchan’s business career took
off when he was able to turn his father’s debt-ridden fertilizer company
into one of Israel’s largest agro-chemical companies.
In 1991 Milchan started a movie production company called New Regency
Productions and has since become a major Hollywood producer, with such
movies as Fight Club, Pretty Woman, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Once Upon a Time
in America and Natural Born Killers.
Milchan has donated $1 million to the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv
and pledged $100m. for a university in Galilee, should the project ever
get off the ground.50. Leonard Stern
Age: 72. Net worth: $3.6 billion.
Born in New York City, Stern’s business career took off when, at 21, he
bought out his siblings’ shares of their father’s company: Hartz
Mountain Pet Products was started by father Max in the 1920s, when he
brought 2,100 canaries from Germany to sell on the US market.
Stern made more money through his acquisition of property in New York
and the surrounding area and through his company Hartz Mountain
Industries. Stern went to NYU, returning the favor by donating $30
million to the university in 1988. The business school there now bears
his name. He sold his Stern Publishing, publishers of newspapers
including the Village Voice, in 2000.
Stern is the founder of Homes for the Homeless, a non-profit
organization which helps the homeless in New York City. The Stern
College for Women is named after his father, who served on the Board of
Trustees at Yeshiva University.