Harvard Business School
|Occupation||Founder of Apollo Management|
|Employer||Apollo Management, formerly Drexel Burnham Lambert|
|Net worth||US$4.3 billion (March 2013)|
Eli M. Black
Early life and education
Black is a son of Eli M. Black (1921–1975), a prominent Jewish businessman who owned the United Brands Company who emigrated from Poland. His mother, Shirley Lubell, was an artist. In 1975, his father committed suicide by jumping from the 44th floor of the Pan Am Building in New York City. It was later made public that federal regulators were investigating allegations of bribery of Honduran government officials by United Brands.
Black received a BA in Philosophy and History from Dartmouth College in 1973, and served on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College from 2002 to 2011. He received an MBA from Harvard University in 1975.
From 1977 to 1990 Leon Black was employed by investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he served as managing director, head of the Mergers & Acquisitions Group, and co-head of the Corporate Finance Department. In 1990, he co-founded, on the heels of the collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert, the private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Notable founders included: John Hannan, Drexel's former co-director of international finance; Craig Cogut, a lawyer who worked with Drexel's high-yield division in Los Angeles; and Arthur Bilger, the former head of the Drexel's corporate finance department; Antony Ressler, who worked as a senior vice president in Drexel's high yield department with responsibility for the new issue/syndicate desk; and Marc Rowan, Josh Harris and Michael Gross, who all worked under Black in the mergers and acquisitions department.
Black is married to Debra Ressler, a Broadway producer and sister of Apollo Global Management co-founder Antony Ressler. They have four children. Black's wife is a melanoma survivor. In 2007, the couple donated $25 million to form the new Melanoma Research Alliance. They have committed to donating another $15 million over the next three years.
Two months after the May 2012 anonymous purchase of one of four versions of Edvard Munch's The Scream, The Wall Street Journal reported that Black had been the one who had paid $119.9 million for the pastel, the highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction. In September 2012, The Museum of Modern Art announced the painting would go on view for a six-month period starting in October.
In June 2013 it was revealed that Leon Black had purchased Head of a Young Apostle, an 11-inch wide work by Raphael for £29 million after a four-party bidding war.
- Forbes: "The World's Billionaires - Leon Black" March 2013
- Creswell, Julie (December 6, 2008). "In Private Equity, the Limits of Apollo’s Power". The New York Times.
- St. Petersburg Times: "Violent Death Contradicted Executives' Quiet Life" by Peter T. Kilbourne February 19, 1975
- Leon D. Black '73 from Dartmouth College
- Drexel Divided on Settlement. New York Times, December 17, 1988
- Ex-Drexel Executives Arrange Aid for Fruit of the Loom, August 24, 1990
- Changes at Drexel Continue. New York Times, March 11, 1989
- Drexel's Uncertain Future. New York Times, October 15, 1989
- New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths RESSLER, IRA RICHARD" October 29, 2000
- Bloomberg: "Leon Black Loses to Carl Icahn as Apollo Sets New Credit Terms" By Anthony Effinger & Cristina Alesci July 7, 2010
- The 400 Richest Americans #160 Leon Black (Forbes, 2006)
- Wall Street Journal: "Melanoma Survivor Seeks Cure" By LAURA LANDRO May 3, 2010
- "Munch's "The Scream" Sold to Financier Leon Black". Wall Street Journal. July 11, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
- "Edvard Munch's The Scream to go on show in New York". BBC News. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
- Profile at Forbes.com