George Kaiser Net Worth & Biography
|George Bruce Kaiser
|July 29, 1942
|Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
|Betty Eudene (deceased)
George Kaiser, a billionaire oil tycoon and philanthropist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the owner, chief executive officer, and president of the GBK Corp., a holding company in the oil industry. He is also the majority owner and chairman of BOK Financial Corp. which owns the Bank of Oklahoma. He became the president of his family’s business Kaiser-Francis Oil in 1969, and under his administration, it grew in revenue and profitability. With the money gained from the company, he purchased the struggling Bank of Oklahoma in the year 1990 and has since expanded his reach to include multiple other income-generating endeavors. According to a recent report by Forbes.com, George Kaiser’s net worth is an estimated $13.2 billion. This figure ranks him among the richest businessmen in the United States.
Early Life: Childhood, Education, Family
He was born George Bruce Kaiser on July 29, 1942 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States.
For his studies, he attended Central High School in Tulsa and later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College in 1964 before completing his MBA at Harvard Business School in 1966.
His parents were Jewish refugees from Germany who settled in Oklahoma. His father, Herman George Kaiser, worked as a lawyer in Berlin until 1933 when he was fired by the Nazis because he was Jewish. Together with his wife, Kate, he moved to Rostock where he worked at his father-in-law Max Samuel’s EMSA-Werke business. In 1937, Herman escaped to England in search of better living, and his wife and daughter joined him in September the following year. All three emigrated to the United States in 1940 and joined Herman’s aunt and uncle to live in Tulsa. Herman started working at his uncle’s oil drilling business.
Professional Life: Businesses
After his education, George briefly considered joining the United States Foreign Service, but he returned to Tulsa instead to work for his father at the family’s business, Kaiser-Francis Oil Company, which was created by his uncle and parents in the 1940s.
He has earned his wealth by being the president and chief executive officer of Kaiser-Francis Oil, which is an oil and natural gas company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After joining the company, he worked there for a while under the guidance of his father until 1969 when he took total control of the business.
In 1990, he purchased Bank of Oklahoma out of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation receivership, and since then, he has succeeded in expanding the bank into nine states. He also purchased an interest in The Professional Basketball Club in 2014. The company owns the National Basketball Association’s Oklahoma City Thunder and the National Basketball Association Development League’s Tulsa 66ers.
Well known for his numerous charitable contributions, George is the founder of the National Energy Policy Institute. He was a fundraiser for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in 2008.
Personal Life: Marriages, Children, Private Interests
George Kaiser has been married twice in his lifetime. His first wife was Betty Eudene, a prominent literacy advocate who sadly passed away in 2002. The couple had three children together: Philip, Leah, and Emily, and five grandchildren: Ben, Shai, Eytan, Aidan, and Ilan.
For his second marriage, he wedded Myra Block, who is a curator and founder of Contemporary.
Kaiser typically works in his office for around 70 hours a week, spending the remainder of his time on philanthropy in addition to banking, energy, and other business interests. He is a simple man who likes to avoid publicity and does not attend social functions. He also hardly ever gives interviews. While he owns homes in San Francisco and Tulsa, this businessman is said to own no yachts, airplanes, and vacation homes. He rather spends his money on philanthropic gestures that benefit people in the society.
In 2008, George Kaiser’s name appeared third on BusinessWeek’s list of the top 50 American philanthropists, behind American billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. Through the George Kaiser Family Foundation, he fights childhood poverty and supports the Jewish community in Oklahoma. He has been active in the promotion of early childhood education and also contributes to the Tulsa Community Foundation, which he established in 1998. Kaiser’s family foundation funded a non-profit energy policy organization named the National Energy Policy Institute, and was instrumental in establishing Tulsa’s Woody Guthrie Center. It is also responsible for the funding leading to Tulsa’s A Gathering Place, and was a large investor in the Solyndra Corporation.
George Kaiser Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets
Mr George Kaiser has a fortune of over 13 billion dollars. His wealth has come from numerous business interests and investments, but primarily from the Kaiser-Francis Oil Company which he leads as its sole owner. Additionally, George owns Argonaut Capital, whose for-profit unit is said to own assets worth more than $3.5 billion and invests in sectors including clean energy and laser printing.
Listed amongst the world’s top 100 richest men, George Kaiser owns the $100 million Excelerate Energy in addition to 61 per cent of BOK Financial. He also ranks third on BusinessWeek’s list of the top 50 American philanthropists, behind other notable philanthropists like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. He doesn’t partake in extravagant luxury activities like his peers and has been observed to rather spend his money supporting worthy causes that directly profit the disadvantaged in the society.