Robert D. Ziff
|Robert D. Ziff|
|Born||1967 (age 47–48)|
|Residence||New York City, New York, US|
|Ethnicity||German mother; Jewish father|
|Alma mater||Harvard University (BA)
Cornell University (JD)
|Known for||Inheritance, Investments|
|Net worth||US$ 4.9 billion (March 2015)|
|Spouse(s)||Michelle Angelic Locher|
|Parent(s)||William Bernard Ziff, Jr.
Barbara Ingrid Beitz
Early life and education
Robert was born in 1967. His mother was Barbara Ingrid Beitz, an ethnic German whose parents were declared as "Righteous among the Nations" for providing refuge and risking their lives to save Jews during World War II. His father was the Jewish American media magnate William Ziff Jr. (d. 2006), who had built the Ziff-Davis magazine empire that included titles such as Popular Aviation, PC Magazine, and Car and Driver.
Ziff studied undergraduate electrical and computer engineering at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude. He then attended Cornell Law School, where he graduated first in his class and was editor of the Cornell Law Review. After law school, Ziff clerked for Chief Judge Monroe G. McKay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Salt Lake City, Utah and later served as vice president of strategic planning at Ziff Communications Company.
Robert and his brothers Dirk and Daniel inherited the family fortune in 1994 after their father sold 95% of the business to Forstmann Little for $1.4 billion and retired. The father had originally wanted to pass the company on to his sons but they were not interested. Instead, they formed New York City-based Ziff Brothers Investments, investing their inheritances broadly across equities, debt, real estate, commodities, private equity and hedge funds. They also provided seed money to fund manager Daniel Och in exchange for a 10% stake in Och-Ziff Capital Management which went public in 2007.
Philanthropy and political contributions
In 1998, Robert donated $2 million to the Harvard University men's hockey program. In 2008, he established the Robert D. Ziff Professorship of Law at Cornell Law School. He also made headlines in 2011 for his financial contributions to Republican legislators supportive of gay marriage.
- Forbes Magazine "Forbes 400 Richest Americans: Robert Ziff" March 2014
- Yad Vashem: The Righteous Among the Nations: Berthold and Elsa Beitz retrieved April 1, 2012
- New York Times: "For Ziffs, Sale Is a Family Affair" by Geraldine Fabrikant June 11, 1994
- Cornell Law School news: "Kevin Clermont named First Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law" retrieved May 30, 2012
- Martindale.com Profile Michelle Angelic Locher, Esq. New York, New York Office retrieved May 30, 2012
- Cornell Law Alumni Forum" Fall 2009 retrieved may 30, 2012
- Harvard Crimson: "Men's Hockey Receives $2 Million Endowment: Tomassoni holds athletic department's third endowed position" By David S. Stolzar January 29, 1998
- Cornell Law School: Robert D. Ziff Professorship of Law retrieved May 30, 2012