||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2013)|
September 3, 1944 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Residence||Santa Barbara, California|
|Alma mater||Kalamazoo College|
|Occupation||Entrepreneur and hotelier|
|Known for||Sole owner of Ty Inc.
|Net worth||US$2.6 billion (2013)|
H. Ty Warner (born September 3, 1944) is an American toy manufacturer, businessman, and former actor. He is the CEO, sole owner and founder of Ty Inc., which manufactures and distributes Beanie Babies, Beanie Baby 2.0s, Ty Girlz, Beanie Boos, Beanie Ballz, Monstaz, Pluffies, LI'L Ones and other plush items.
At the age of 14, Warner went to Lyons Township High School (south campus) in Western Springs, IL. He then went to St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin. Warner attended Kalamazoo College in Michigan but dropped out after a year.
Warner moved to Los Angeles, California to start a career in acting. He had little success as an actor and returned to Chicago after five years. There he began working for plush toy maker Dakin as a salesman, the same company where his father worked. In 1980 he was fired by Dakin, reportedly for selling his own products in competition with the company's line. After spending a three-year sabbatical in Italy, Warner returned to Chicago.
In 1986, he mortgaged his home and invested his life savings and a bequest from his father into founding Ty Inc. After starting out selling stuffed toy cats (inspired by some Warner had seen in Italy), in 1993 Ty Inc. launched Beanie Babies. At the peak of the Beanie craze, the privately owned Ty Inc. is believed to have earned over $700 million in profits in a year. On December 31, 1999, Ty Inc. announced that it would stop making Beanie Babies.
He also has significant investments in hotels, property and golf courses. Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts include the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City, the Sandpiper golf course, the Four Seasons Resort and San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California, the Kona Village resort in Hawaii (purchased in July 2004), the Montecito Country Club and the Las Ventanas al Paraiso Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico (acquired in September 2004). In 2005, Warner also bought the beachfront Miramar resort and Rancho San Marcos golf course.
A philanthropist, he has donated in excess of $6 million to the Andre Agassi Foundation for underprivileged children in Las Vegas and $3 million for the creation of Ty Warner Park in Westmont, Illinois. He also donated $1.5 million for the creation of the Ty Warner Sea Center in Santa Barbara, California and donated one million Beanie Babies for children in Iraq. Warner also donated more than $300 million worth of soft toys for a Red Cross blood drive. Additionally, Warner has designed a number of Beanie Babies with the intention of donating all of the profits to charity. Ty Inc.'s charity releases have raised millions for a variety of charities, including the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the American Red Cross, and the Princess Diana Memorial Fund.
In 2006, he received the Children's Champion Award from Children's Hunger Fund for his philanthropic efforts—Ty Inc. donated 1 million Beanie Babies to Children’s Hunger Fund relief efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2012, Warner stopped a woman and asked for directions in Santa Barbara, Calif. The woman was trying to raise money for a stem-cell procedure she needed to save her life. After learning of her condition, he gave her $20,000 for the procedure.
Warner was born on September 3, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in suburban La Grange, in a Prairie-style house designed in the early 1890s by Frank Lloyd Wright, now known as the Peter Goan House. His father was Harold Warner, a jeweler and toy salesman. His mother was Georgia Warner, a pianist. He has a much-younger sister, Joyce. He was named after baseball player Ty Cobb. He never married and has no children. Warner maintains a low public profile, rarely granting media interviews or releasing personal or company information.
Tax Fraud Charges
In September 2013, Warner pled guilty in Federal court to one count of felony tax evasion for failing to report income kept in a secret Swiss bank account for 12 years. In January 2014 he was sentenced to two years of probation and 500 hours of community service. The US Justice Department appealed the sentence to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard argument in September 2014. A decision is pending. 
- "Ty Warner". Forbes. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
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- "Ty Warner" at the Wayback Machine (archived July 17, 2005), Sunday Telegraph, July 18, 1999