John Sperling Net Worth & Biography

Popular Name: John Sperling
Real Name: John Glen Sperling
Birth Date: January 9, 1921
Birth Place: Missouri, United States
Age: Died on August 22, 2014
Gender: Male
Nationality/Citizenship: American
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Sexuality: N/A
Marital Status: N/A
Spouse(s): N/A
Children: N/A
Profession: Businessman
Years active: N/A
Net Worth: $2 Billion
Last Updated: 2022

John Glen Sperling was an American businessman who earned a massive fortune by founding the Apollo Group and Phoenix University. Through its subsidiaries, Apollo Group Incorporated owns and runs a number of for-profit institutions which include the Institute for Professional Development, the College for Financial Planning, and the Western International University, in addition to the University of Phoenix. The company also operates the Insight schools and the Olympus High School which are online public high schools based in Washington, Wisconsin, and other locations. The Apollo Group also owns the BPP University College of Professional Studies which is located in the United Kingdom. Until his death on August 22, 2014, Mr. Sperling continued to earn a palatable income from all the aforementioned profit-making businesses. More details follow below.

Early Life: Childhood, Education

John Glen Sperling was born to a poor family in Missouri Ozarks on January 9, 1921. His father was a railroad worker and his mother was a fundamentalist Christian.

He spent several years working in the merchant marine as a sailor, and later received his bachelor’s degree at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. From there, he went to the University of California for his master’s degree and then went on to attend King’s College in Cambridge for a Ph.D. in economic history.

Professional Career: Entrepreneurial Career

John was the founder of the Apollo Group, an S&P 500 company based in Phoenix, Arizona, which, through its subsidiaries, owned a number of educational institutions before it was sold to Apollo Global Management and two other firms.

He founded Apollo in 1973 and founded the University of Phoenix in his 50s with no track record in businesses and no investors. His company owned and operated four higher-learning institutions, including the University of Phoenix, the Institute for Professional Development, the College for Financial Planning, Axia College, and Western International University. Additionally, it owned Olympus High School and Insight Schools. His Apollo Group also owned BPP University in the United Kingdom. It collaborated with Carlyle Group to establish Apollo Global for investing in education overseas. Apollo Global also acquired ULA College in Mexico and UNIACC College in Chile.

Mr. John Sperling became an entrepreneur at the age of 53. Before that, he worked as a professor at San Jose State University for years. He was an activist for a number of liberal causes during the 1960s and was part of several conflicts with university leaders and authorities regarding his experimental adult education schemes. He was also an antagonist of drug prohibition and was funding initiatives to legalize medical marijuana in the U.S. An article by Time magazine claimed that Mr. Sperling used marijuana to combat cancer-caused pain when he was battling the ailment during the 1960s. Together with Peter Lewis and George Soros, Mr. Sperling raised considerable sums of money for drugs and other causes during the 2004 presidential campaign. He also directed significant amounts of his time, attention, and finances toward extending the life span of human beings. In 2004, an article by Wired magazine reported that “John Sperling Wants You to Live Forever”. By then he had a fortune of around 3 billion dollars, and he had plans to donate most of it to human biology research when he died (if he did). He since indicated that his wealth would go primarily to environmental causes. Furthermore, Mr. Sperling provided financing to Genetic Savings & Clone, of Sausalito, California, a firm that later closed in 2006. He spent $20 million in seven years trying to clone a dog named Missy in the project termed “Missyplicity”. Clones of the dog were produced in December 2007.

John Sperling Net Worth

John Sperling had a net worth of $2 billion dollars at the time of his passing on the 22nd of August 2014. Born in the Ozarks into a poor family of sharecroppers, John grew up a poor boy who struggled to complete his education. He became an entrepreneur at the age of 53 but later lived as one of the richest people in Arizona.

Earlier on in his life, John Sperling then joined the merchant marines and struggled to do odd jobs for some years, before earning his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from Reed College, the University of California, and the University of Cambridge respectively. What followed was the establishment of the Apollo Group and Phoenix University which eventually earned a massive fortune. After starting Phoenix University as a higher learning institution for working adults starting with only eight students, then expanded to California within 10 years and subsequently launched an online university later on. Since then, enrollment has exploded, and the university currently has over 500,000 undergraduate students, and approximately 100,000 graduate students worldwide.

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