Jerry Reinsdorf Biography & Net Worth
Jerry Reinsdorf Biography & Net Worth
Jerry Michael Reinsdorf
25 February 1936
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Martyl Rifkin (m. 1956)
American businessman and lawyer Jerry Reinsdorf is well-known in the media for many odd reasons. He was the majority owner of two top sports teams; the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association and the Chicago White Sox of the Major League Baseball. Born in Brooklyn, New York to polish immigrants, he pursued his higher education from George Washington University, and also attended Northwestern University Law School where he studied law. Jerry later started working for the Internal Revenue Service as one of its lawyers. In 1973 he co-founded Balcor Co., which was one of the first firms in the United States that specialized in real estate corporation. The company went on to record financial success and he eventually sold it to American Express in 1982 for $102 million. After leaving the company, he invested his money in the acquisition of the Chicago White Sox baseball team in 1981. Four years later, he combined with other partners and acquired the Chicago Bulls basketball team. Under his ownership, the team reigned as NBA champions winning the championship consecutively. He also helped the team become one of biggest and most profitable franchises in sports. Jerry has been considered as one of the most successful and most influential basketball owners. Due to his contributions to the sport, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, and has received many honors for his accomplishments in his lifetime.
Jerry Reinsdorf’s Early Life
Jerry Reinsdorf was born on 25 February 1936 in Brooklyn, New York, United States. His parents, Max and Marion Reinsdorf, are Jews who had migrated from Poland. His father worked a sewing machine mechanic and salesman and earned just enough to provide for the family.
He was interested in sports from a young age, particularly baseball. He attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and later moved to George Washington University for his college degree, graduating with his BA degree in 1957. Following his graduation from college, he joined the Northwestern University and graduated with his law degree in 1960.
Jerry Reinsdorf’s Career
As soon as he completed his education, Jerry Reinsdorf began his career at the Internal Revenue Service where he was employed as a tax attorney. He was also a real estate securities specialist, a certified review appraiser, a certified public accountant, and also a registered mortgage underwrite. By 1981, he had saved enough money to invest in the Chicago White Sox baseball team of the Major League Baseball. The team signed a television contract with a newly founded Sportsvision. By the 1983 season, his baseball franchise made the playoffs with the Major League’s best record. The Chicago White Sox eventually won the American League West Division title two times, in 1983 and in 1993.
In 1985, he made another remarkable investment by acquiring the Chicago Bulls basketball team of the National Basketball Team for the same $16 million. He managed to turn things around and transformed the franchise into a profitable business in just a few years. The team made several positive changes and eventually managed to win six Championships, in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and in 1998. Within a decade of his purchase, the team’s worth increased from the initial $16 million he paid for it to over $178 million.
Despite the successes he registered, he has been described as a cheapskate by Time magazine. He has earned a reputation as the most anti-union, hard-line, and militant basketball owners. Several fans of the game as well as columnists have accused him of collapsing the Bulls team. He also swayed politicians in Illinois to fund a new stadium, which enabled him to tear down Comiskey Park. He has also unveiled a new United Center which would replace the Chicago Stadium.
Jerry has also been drawn in initiatives that ought to bring improvements to standardized test scores in the public schools in Chicago. He has also been a part of many philanthropic works of CharitaBulls and White Sox Charities. The White Sox Charities donated a million dollars to the Chicago Park District, generally to fund softball and baseball fields.
Over the past years, Jerry Reinsdorf has been active in affairs related baseball. He serves on the Boards of MLB Advanced Media as well as MLB Enterprises, and has served on the Executive Council and Strategic Planning, Expansion, Labor Policy, Ownership, Restructuring, Equal Opportunity, Long Range Planning, and Legislative Committees of Major League Baseball.
Awards & Achievements
His contributions were enough to have him inducted into Wisconsin Baseball Hall of Fame in August 2006. He was also honored with a Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2011. Due to his philanthropic efforts through the Chicago White Sox and CharitaBulls Charities, Jerry has been recognized for `Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged`. He is regarded as one of the most influential and most successful people in the administration of basketball.
Personal Life & Family
Jerry Reinsdorf and Martyl Rifkin have been married since 1956. Their marriage produced a daughter and three sons, namely Jonathan, Michael, Susan and David. He has received a lot of criticism from basketball and baseball fans due to his policies and ways of handling his sports teams. Despite the slanders he gets in the media, his staff is known to be loyal to him and often describe him as generous and fair-minded.
Every time the Bulls made it to the NBA finals, Reinsdorf paid to fly the team’s full-time staff as well as their families to out-of-town games. This is known to have cost him $1.5 million in 1996. It has also been reported that coaches whom he relieved off their duties are treated well by him.
He has been applauded as well as criticized for the manner with which he handled key team members, most notably Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson.
Jerry Reinsdorf Net Worth
Mr. Reinsdorf is a lawyer, certified public accountant, and professional sports owner who has made a huge fortune from making investments that turned out highly profitable for him. Jerry Reinsdorf net worth is more than $1.5 billion. He is most famous for being the owner of two successful and popular sports franchises; the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox. He has been in control of both teams for over 35 years of his life, and has continued to achieve success at the top level even till this day.