Billionaire Profiles

Canadian tycoon Paul Desmarai of Power Corporation of Canada died on October 8, 2013

Paul Desmarai (January 4, 1927 – October 8, 2013) was a high profile tycoon and empire-builder in Canada for many decades. According to Forbes, he was the 4th wealthiest person in Canada and the 235th wealthiest in the world with an estimated net worth of $4.4 billion. Demarai was born into a family with business interests in the Sudbury, Quebec region. This was a tough blue-collar nickle mining area similar to the Apalachian coal mining region in the USA back in the 1950s.

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How JP Morgan Made His Money

JP Morgan (1837 – 1913) was the most powerful American banker of the second half of the 19th century and early part of the 2oth. He is perhaps best known for managing the deal in which US Steel Corporation was created through a merger of Andrew Carnegie’s Carnegie Steel Company and the Federal Steel Company. US Steel became the first billion dollar company in history.

Morgan quickly became the go to guy when the government needed financial assistance.

He once observed that a man always has at least two reasons for why he does something: A reason that sounds good and the real reason.

It’s a good point to keep in mind during negotiations.

Here’s a 44 minute documentary on him. Morgan is also a major character in History Channel’s The Men Who Made America series.

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Self-made New York billionaire John Catsimatidis explains how he started his grocery empire.

The summer after completing high school his mother got him a job at a local supermarket where he continued working while attending NYU. After a few short years, one of the owners, Tony, sold John his stake in the store. The financing was simple. As John describes it, “He sold me half the business for ten thousand dollars in notes and said, ‘pay me whenever you have it.'”

Within four years Catsimatidis had opened up ten more stores, paid off Tony, and made his first million. Which just goes to show that a dynamic ambitious person can take the smallest and sleepiest of businesses and turn them into something substantial over time.

The Eccentric Billionaire: John D. MacArthur — Empire Builder, Reluctant Philanthropist, Relentless Adversary by Nancy Kriplen

The following mini-review is from Barnes & Noble:

“He was hated, feared, and admired. The country’s second-richest man at the time of his death, John D. MacArthur (1897-1978) also became one of its great benefactors. Every year, some two dozen American writers, artists, intellectuals, and scientists receive as much as a half million dollars in grants known as the “genius awards” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. But MacArthur was not the benevolent figure you might expect. Stingier than J. Paul Getty, as money-obsessed as Howard Hughes, and as ruthless as Cornelius Vanderbilt, MacArthur was one of the most multi-layered men in business history. Now, in this first full biography of John D. MacArthur as he really was, Nancy Kriplen reveals the man behind the myth — the often vulgar, sometimes unethical, always ambitious rogue who would become one of America’s wealthiest men.

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