August 23, 1932 |
West Chester, Pennsylvania
|Known for||Owner of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1985-1994|
|Net worth||US $ 1.6 billion (March 2013)|
Norman Braman (born August 23, 1932) is a former American football team owner. He was the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. Norman and his brother-in-law, Ed Leibowitz, officially became the owners of the Eagles on April 29, 1985. Norman owned 65 percent of the team while Ed owned 35 percent until July 16, 1986 when Norman bought the rest of the team from Ed. Braman sold the team to movie executive Jeffrey Lurie in 1994.
Early life and education
Braman was born in 1932 in West Chester, Pennsylvania and grew up in the Cobbs Creek section of Philly where his father owned a barbershop. Braman's parents were both Jewish immigrants from Europe. His Romanian-born mother was a seamstress and his Polish father a barber. Braman was a water boy in his teenage years at the Eagles training camp, which was then in West Chester. During the season he would sneak into Shibe Park to watch the team play. Braman attended West Philadelphia High School and graduated from Temple University in 1955 with a degree in business administration.
He began his career in 1955 in the marketing and sales department for Seagram's Distributors. In 1957, he founded Keystone Stores, a chain of self-service department stores, in Philadelphia. In 1964, he organized Philadelphia Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics, a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and was President and Chief Executive Officer. In 1972 he bought a Cadillac dealership in Tampa. Three years later he bought another in Miami and today he is CEO of Braman Enterprises, an umbrella company for his automotive businesses that include 23 car dealerships in Florida and Colorado. The dealerships sell upscale cars such as Acura, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes, MINI, Porsche and Rolls-Royce, as well as Hyundai and Kia.
In 1982, he led a successful campaign against a city sales tax that would have renovated the Miami Orange Bowl for Dolphins owner Joe Robbie. From 1985 to 1994, he owned the Philadelphia Eagles football team, having purchased it from Leonard Tose. Braman rebuilt the Eagles into an NFL NFC Eastern Division champion in 1988. The team won at least 10 games for five straight years through 1993.
Braman served on the Board of Governors of various institutions. In 1999, he helped defeat then-County Mayor Alex Penelas campaign for a one-cent sales tax that could have generated billions of dollars to spend on mass transit, while potentially hurting automobile sales.  Currently he operates various car dealerships in both Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County, Florida.
He recently filed a lawsuit against the Florida Marlins and others over their plans to build a new ballpark. In all seven arguments however, Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen ruled in favor of the Marlins and Miami-Dade County, allowing construction to proceed. Braman however says that he is ready to fight his case as far as the Supreme Court.
He financially supported a recall election against Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez because of a huge property tax increase and pay hikes to Alvarez's top staffers. On March 15, 2011 close to 90% of those that turned out to vote that day in Miami-Dade County, voted to recall the mayor. It is believed to be one of the most lopsided recall elections in the history of American elections.
- Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Norman Braman March 2013
- The American Presidency Project, Nomination of Norman Braman To Be Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization September 28, 1981
- Gus Garcia Roberts (December 18, 2008). "Bet on Norman Braman". The Miami New Times. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
- John Steinbreder (September 13, 1993). "The Owners". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
- Peter Mucha (September 23, 2010). "‘Richest Americans’ list includes 4 from Philly". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
- Kevin Gale (August 2, 2004). "JM Family Enterprises, Southern Wine & Spirits lead the list". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
- Haggman, Matthew (15 May 2011). "9 of 10 say ‘yes’ to ousting Alvare". Miami Herald. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- Lebanon Daily News: "Sophie Miller Obituary" on December 6, 2009
- The Florida House of Representatives House Resolution 9123 - A resolution honoring Norman Braman for his philanthropy on behalf of the people of the State of Florida | 2008
- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation: A New Center of Excellence - The Suzi and Scott Lustgarten Center for GI Motility retrieved March 24, 2013
- Norman Braman: The World's Billionaires Forbes.com
- Norman Braman: Eagles Owner Los Angeles Times
- It's the mogul Braman vs. the mayor Alvarez The Miami Herald