Ron Burkle Net Worth & Biography
|Popular Name:||Ron Burkle|
|Real Name:||Ronald Wayne Burkle|
|Birth Date:||November 12, 1952|
|Birth Place:||Pomona, California, United States|
|Spouse(s):||Janet Steeper (m. 1974–2006)|
|Profession:||Businessman, Entrepreneur, Investor, Philanthropist|
|Net Worth:||$3 Billion|
Ron Burkle is a successful American businessman and one of the preeminent investors in the technology, retail, hospitality, sports, and distribution industries. He is a three-time Stanley Cup winner as co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins professional hockey team. Burkle established the Yucaipa Companies in the year 1986 and has served as the board’s chairman and controlling shareholder of several companies, including Ralph’s Food4Less, Dominick’s, Fred Meyer, Soho House, Golden State Foods, and Americold.
Mr. Ron is a Co-Chairman of the Burkle Center for International Relations at the University of California Los Angeles and is extensively involved in the community. He is a trustee of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and a member of the Board of The Scripps Research Institute. Ron was the Founder and Chairman of the Fred Meyer Inc. Foundation and the Ralphs/Food4Less Foundation. He was a member of the board of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the National Urban League, the J. Paul Getty Trust, The Carter Center, The Music Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, KB Home (NYSE: KBH), Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), and Kaufman & Broad S.A. (Euronext: KOF). More details follow below.
Early Life: Childhood, Family, Education
He was born Ronald Wayne Burkle on November 12, 1952, in Pomona, California, United States. His parents were Joseph and Betty Burkle.
During his childhood, Ron’s father worked seven days a week performing his duties as the manager of a Stater Bros. grocery store. He had to stock shelves in his father’s store to be able to see his father.
By age 13, he had joined United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 770. He graduated from high school at age 16 and joined California State Polytechnic University in Pomona to study dentistry. However, he dropped out less than two years later.
Professional Life: Entrepreneurial Career
At age 21, Ron Burkle turned a $3,000 investment in American Silver into $30,000 and started investing in undervalued grocery stores which he flipped later on. He was promoted to the post of store manager at Stater Bros. and later on, he was appointed as the vice president of Stater’s parent company Petrolane, Inc.
In 1986, Ron founded the private equity company Yucaipa Companies, and it has invested in companies involved in hospitality, entertainment, sports, food, and other industries. In 1999, Ron and Mario Lemieux saved the Pittsburg Penguins from bankruptcy. He was also involved in negotiations to construct the PPG Paints Arena for the hockey team and to end the 2012–2013 National Hockey League lockout. Under Ron’s ownership, the Penguins team was completely transformed and it won the Stanley Cup in 2009, 2016, and 2017, making them the only title-winning sports team in America to have ties to private equity.
Ron is the co-founder of A-Grade Investments, a venture capital fund. He founded the firm with business partners Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary, and as of 2020, the firm’s investment portfolio included companies like Airbnb, Spotify, Uber, and SoundCloud. He has also invested in tech startups through the venture capital firm Inevitable Venture, which was founded by D.A Wallach and Chris Hollod. In the entertainment industry, Ron has invested in Three Lions Entertainment and Artist Group International, and he acquired Artist Group International in 2014. Ron has also acquired minority stakes in Independent Talent and the Primavera Sound music festival, and in 2020, he made a notable investment in the musical festival Danny Wimmer Presents.
He also serves many organizations, either as founder, trustee, or board chairman/member. Some of these include the Burkle Center for International Relations at the University of California Los, AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), The Scripps Research Institute, the Fred Meyer Inc. Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust, The Carter Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and numerous others.
Achievements: Awards & Honors
Ron is featured on the communal Promenade of Prominence in Watts, California, and has been inducted into the Black American Political Association of California hall of fame. He has received numerous awards and honors including, the Los Angeles County Boy Scouts Jimmy Stewart’s Good Turn Award, the APLA Commitment to Life Award, AFL-CIO’s Murray Green Meany Kirkland Community Service Award, the Los Angeles Urban League’s Whitney M. Young Award, The Instituto De la Raza Laboral’s La Raza Corporate Leadership Award, and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Man of the Year.
Personal Life: Wife, Children, Private Interests
At age 21, Ron married Janet Steeper, a clerk at Stater Bros. She is also a great-grandniece of the aviation forerunners, the Wright brothers. Their marriage lasted from 1974 to 2006 and they had three kids together, including John, Carrie, and Andrew who was unfortunately found dead at his house in January 2020 at 26.
Mr. Ron Burkle has owned the Ennis House by Frank Lloyd Wright, William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize for literature, and Jesse Owens’ Olympic gold medal. He sold Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House for $18 million in 2019.
In 2018, he was named the United States’ honorary consul of Serbia following the opening of a Serbian consulate in Montana. He applied for Serbian citizenship and became a citizen by naturalization in November 2019.
Ron Burkle Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets, Real Estate
This American business magnate also happens to be a college drop-out, but despite his insufficient education, he has earned himself a truly impressive fortune by founding and managing multiple ventures and investments throughout most of his life. Mr. Ron Burkle’s net worth is $3 billion as of this writing. He founded the successful private equity company Yucaipa Companies and also manages the Ronald W. Burkle Foundation. He has drawn his wealth from additional sources, including companies like Alliance Entertainment, Dominick’s, Food4Less, Ralphs, and Fred Meyer, all of which he has worked for as chairman of the board. Additionally, he has served on the boards of KB Home, Yahoo!, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation, among others. He is also a co-owner of the NHL franchise the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he has invested in several technology startups and businesses in the entertainment industry. Some other companies he has been involved in that have also contributed to his wealth include American Apparel, Inc., Safeway, Kmart, Pathmark, Relativity Media, Barnes & Noble, Primedia, and Sean John.
Among his assets is the Neverland Ranch which he purchased for $22 million in 2020. The property which was listed for $100 million five years earlier, was the infamous home of the late American superstar Michael Jackson.
Ron Burkle also owns perhaps multiple private homes in the United States, with most of his properties located in California. In the 1980s he paid $750,000 for a house in Yucaipa, California. In New York City he owns a fine apartment in the NoHo neighborhood which he bought in 2005 for $18 million. In La Jolla, California he owns a remarkable 8-acre property near Black’s Beach which he bought in 1999 for $16 million. The purchase set the record for the most expensive home sale ever in San Diego County. However, that record has since been broken. In Beverly Hills, California, he owns an estate called Greenacres which has been reported to cost $30 million to build today. In Palm Springs he maintains a John Lautner-designed mansion that cost him $13 million in 2016. His primary residence for years has been a private island on a Montana lake known as Shelter Island. He bought the property for $10.5 million.