Jeff Greene

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Jeff Greene
Born (1954-12-10) December 10, 1954 (age 59)
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Ethnicity Jewish
Alma mater Johns Hopkins University (B.A.)
Harvard Business School (M.B.A.)
Occupation Real estate entrepreneur
Net worth Increase US$ 2.2 billion (September 2012)[1]
Political party
Democratic
Spouse(s) Mei Sze Chan
Children Malcolm

Jeff Greene (born December 10, 1954) is an American real estate entrepreneur. He is a member of the Democratic Party and was a candidate in the 2010 Senate election primaries in Florida.[2]

Early life[edit]

Greene was born in 1954 in Worcester, Massachusetts to working-class Jewish parents. His father ran a business selling textile mill machinery. His mother was a Hebrew school instructor who taught Greene to "save his pennies, look for value, and never pay retail."[3] His family moved to Florida in 1970 after his father lost his business.[4] In Florida, his father worked refilling vending machines and his mother worked as a waitress.[5]

Greene worked many jobs to put himself through college at Johns Hopkins University, graduating in three years with a B.A. in economics and sociology. Later he attended Harvard Business School, where he earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 1977. [6] Greene lived in Southern California in the 1980s and 90s and ran in the 1982 Republican primary for the 23rd Congressional District race. Greene lost the primary to David Armor who then lost to incumbent Democrat Anthony C. Beilenson.[7]

Career[edit]

Greene began investing in real estate while in business school, and built a successful real estate business from being a mere busboy at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach.[8] In mid-2006, Greene, worried about the possible collapse of the real estate market, spoke with John Paulson, a fellow investor who discussed with Greene his investing strategy. They agreed that the real estate market was unstable and a bubble might be forming in housing. After the meeting, Greene engaged in a similar investing strategy to that of Paulson, which involved a series of unconventional investments trading credit default swaps. The return on Greene’s investments ultimately saved his business, and put him on Forbes 400 list.[6]

Belize Coral Reef[edit]

On July 23, 2010, the St Petersburg Times reported that Greene's luxury yacht Summerwind had caused damage to a coral reef off the coast of Belize when it attempted to drop anchor. The alleged incident occurred in 2005 when Greene was not present on the vessel. When questioned, the chief environmental officer of Belize's Department of the Environment informed the newspaper that both Greene and the former captain of the Summerwind face a fine of up to $1.87 million should either return to Belize. According to newspaper reports at the time, the captain was interrogated by police and was then released. Then, according to Greene's former yacht manager, Rupert Connor, the boat left Belize as scheduled, and he was never notified of any claim against the vessel. Greene's campaign denies that the incident occurred.[9]

2010 US Senate campaign[edit]

On April 30, 2010, Greene announced his intention to run as a Democrat for the United States Senate seat held by George LeMieux, saying, "I am an outsider, the only candidate who isn’t a career politician. I’ve succeeded in the real world of hard work – the others have only succeeded at running for political office after office."[10] Greene stated he would refuse campaign contributions from special interests, and would limit individual donations to $100.[11] His platform focused on economic reforms and job creation.[11] Greene introduced his story and his campaign with a sixty-second video.

Greene's campaign was endorsed by the Tallahassee Democrat's editorial board. The board commended Greene for his "edge and an energy that make him want to push beyond the usual talking points", remarking, "we like the toughness he would bring to the office".[12]

Greene's attempt to win the Democratic nomination was, however, unsuccessful; Rep. Kendrick Meek won the primary election before losing to Republican Marco Rubio in the November general election.

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, Greene married Chinese Australian, real estate executive Mei Sze Chan, who is twenty years his junior in age.[13][14] Chan was an ethnic Chinese refugee from Malaysia who first fled to Australia with her family before heading to New York City after college.[15] In 2009, she gave birth to their first child, Malcolm.[16] Greene and his wife and son live in Palm Beach.[17] Greene was quoted as saying, “I just wish I had met Mei Sze 20 years ago."[18][13]

In February 2011 Greene became a signatory of The Giving Pledge.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jeff Greene September 2012
  2. ^ Bennett, George (2010-04-30). "Palm Beach billionaire to file as Democrat for U.S. Senate race". The Palm Beach Post (Cox Media). Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  3. ^ Forbes: The Reluctant Billionaire by Susan Kitchens September 11, 2008
  4. ^ Mason, Annah (January 2009). "A Billion in Greene". Equities Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  5. ^ Dorschner, John (2009-12-07). "Wall Street's losses were businessman's gain". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  6. ^ a b Kitchens, Susan (2008-10-06). "The Reluctant Billionaire". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  7. ^ Reinhard, Beth (June 17, 2010). "Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Greene first ran for Congress as a Reagan Republican". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  8. ^ Wells, Jane (2008-02-29). "Real Estate Mogul Jeff Greene: The Man Who Shorted Subprime". CNBC. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  9. ^ Smith, Adam C. (2010-07-23). "Belize: Jeff Greene's yacht tore up coral reef, left unpaid fines up to $1.87 million". St Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  10. ^ Greene, Jeff (2010-04-29). "Jeff Greene for Florida". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-04-29. 
  11. ^ a b Smith, Adam; Beth Reinhard (2010-05-01). "Billionaire Democrat Jeff Greene jumps into Florida Senate race". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  12. ^ Tallahassee Democrat endorsement of Jeff Greene
  13. ^ a b Horowitz, Jason (June 25, 2010). "Jeff Greene touts business savvy, outsider status in run for U.S. Senate seat". Washington Post. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  14. ^ Wall Street Journal: "In Beverly Hills, A Meltdown Mogul Is Living Large" By JONATHAN KARP January 15, 2008
  15. ^ Sipher, Devan; Navarro, Mireya (2007-11-04). "Mei Sze Chan and Jeff Greene". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ Tampa Bay Times: "The women behind the men who would be Florida's senator" By Cristina Silva August 1, 2010
  17. ^ Miller, Kimberley (2010-04-23). "Monday Meeting with Jeff Greene, founder of Florida Sunshine Investments". The Palm Beach Post (Cox Media). Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  18. ^ Sipher, Devan; Navarro, Mireya (2007-11-04). "Mei Sze Chan and Jeff Greene". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ Greene signs The Giving Pledge

External links[edit]