Barbara Corcoran

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Barbara Corcoran
Barbara Corcoran (cropped).jpg
Barbara Ann Corcoran

(1949-03-10) March 10, 1949 (age 73)
EducationSt. Thomas Aquinas College (BEd)
Occupation(s)Commentator and Television personality
Bill Higgins
(m. 1988)
WebsiteOfficial website

Barbara Ann Corcoran[2] (born March 10, 1949)[3] is an American businesswoman, investor, syndicated columnist, and television personality. She founded The Corcoran Group, a real estate brokerage in New York City, which she sold to NRT for $66 million in 2001 and shortly thereafter exited the company. One of the show's original "Shark" investors, Corcoran has appeared in all 13 seasons of ABC's Shark Tank to date.[4] As of January 2023, she has made 130 deals on the show, the largest being a $350,000 investment for 40% of Coverplay.[5]

Corcoran is a columnist for More, The Daily Review, and Redbook, writes a weekly column in the New York Daily News, and has written several books. She has been featured on Larry King Live and NBC's Today show, and hosts The Millionaire Broker with Barbara Corcoran on CNBC.

Early life and education[edit]

Corcoran was born in Edgewater, New Jersey,[2] the second of 10 children[6] in a working class Irish-Catholic family.[7] Her mother, Florence, was a homemaker. Her father, Edwin W. Corcoran Jr., bounced from job to job throughout Corcoran's childhood. At times, her family relied on deliveries of free food from a friendly local grocer. Corcoran remembers her father as a man who occasionally drank too much and treated her mother with disrespect and condescension, particularly when he'd been drinking.[8]

Corcoran struggled throughout her schooling, later learning that she had dyslexia. She attended a local Catholic elementary school and started high school at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood. After flunking several courses during her freshman year, Corcoran transferred to Leonia High School, where she graduated as a D student.[9][10]

Corcoran graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College with a degree in education in 1971, faring better than she had in her previous schooling.[11][12]


After graduating college, she taught school for a year but soon moved on. She had worked a total of 20 jobs by the time she was 23,[13] including a side job renting apartments in New York City. While she was a waitress, her boyfriend convinced her to work for a real estate company.[14] She wanted to be her own boss, and in 1973, while working as a receptionist for the Giffuni Brothers' real estate company in New York City, co-founded The Corcoran-Simonè with her boyfriend, who loaned $1,000.[15][9] She split from her boyfriend seven years later after he told her he was going to marry her secretary[14] and she then formed her own firm, The Corcoran Group.[16]

In the mid-1970s, she also began publishing The Corcoran Report, a newsletter covering real estate data trends in New York City.[12]

In 2001, Corcoran sold her business to NRT for $66 million.[17][18][19]

In September 2017, Corcoran was announced as a contestant for season 25 of Dancing with the Stars, where she was partnered with Keo Motsepe.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Corcoran lives in Manhattan with her husband, Bill Higgins, a retired Navy captain and former FBI agent who participated in the Gulf War.[21] The couple married in 1988.[22] Corcoran gave birth to their son in 1994, via in vitro fertilization, with an egg donated by her sister Florence.[19][17] The couple later adopted a daughter.[1]

In 2001, she purchased a 2,700-square-foot apartment in a co-op building on Park Avenue for $3.5 million.[19]

In 2015, Corcoran purchased a penthouse unit on Fifth Avenue for $10 million.[23]

In 2019, for her 70th birthday, she held a mock funeral.[3]

Her hobbies include skiing and going to the beach.[24]

Corcoran has dyslexia and was labeled the 'dumb kid' by her teachers and classmates. According to Corcoran, the bullying "drove her to work harder and learn the skills she needed to succeed".[25]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons On Your Pigtails: and Other Lessons I Learned From My Mom; (aka "Use What You've Got"). New York City: Penguin. 2003. ISBN 1-59184-002-3. (co-authored with Bruce Littlefield)
  • Nextville: Amazing Places to Live Your Life. Springboard Press. 2008. ISBN 978-0-446-17827-3.
  • Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business. SPortfolio Trade. 2011. ISBN 978-1-59184-418-1. (co-authored with Bruce Littlefield)


  1. ^ a b Barbuti, Angela (April 18, 2014). "Barbara Corcoran of 'Shark Tank': 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.
  2. ^ a b "Barbara Corcoran Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Moniuszko, Sara M. (May 1, 2019). "'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran held a fake funeral for her 70th birthday". USA Today. The 'Stark Tank' star, who turned 70 on March 10...
  4. ^ "About Barbara". Barbara Corcoran official website.
  5. ^ "Barbara Corcoran's Shark Tank track record". Sharkalytics. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  6. ^ Stern, Carly (July 8, 2019). "What's in a Pitch? Barbara Corcoran Knows All Too Well". Ozy.
  7. ^ Real Estate Mogul: Barbara Corcoran. NPR. April 24, 2017.
  8. ^ Frieswick, Kris (November 2016). "Why Barbara Corcoran Thinks Growing Up Poor Is a Key Ingredient for Success". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Corcoran, Barbara; Littlefield, Bruce (2011). Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into a Billion Dollar Business. Penguin Books. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-59184-418-1.
  10. ^ Locke, Taylor (March 10, 2020). "Barbara Corcoran: How dyslexia 'made me a millionaire'". CNBC. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  11. ^ "Alumni Hall of Fame". St. Thomas Aquinas College.
  12. ^ a b Livingston, R.T. (December 2000). "The Corcoran Group: A Marketing Maven Forges into the Future". The Cooperator.
  13. ^ "barbara corcoran: About". Barbara Corcoran official website. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Lebowitz, Shana (November 21, 2017). "Barbara Corcoran's ex-boyfriend dumped her for her secretary — and it was the best thing to happen to her career". Business Insider.
  15. ^ Berger, Sarah (December 29, 2017). "How this important skill helped Barbara Corcoran turn a $1,000 loan into a $66 million empire". CNBC.
  16. ^ How to Get a Shark to Invest by Barbara Corcoran. March 15, 2018. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ a b Green, Penelope (September 25, 2005). "The Real Estate 'Queen' in Her Hive". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  18. ^ "Barbara Corcoran: Rejection Breeds Success". The Wall Street Journal. June 2, 2011.
  19. ^ a b c McGeveran, Tom (December 1, 2001). "Corcoran Sells Out to Giant Group NRT; Will Barbara Stay?". The New York Observer.
  20. ^ "Meet the 'DWTS' season 25 celebrity cast: Frankie Muniz, Barbara Corcoran and more". ABC News. September 6, 2017.
  21. ^ "Alpha Women, Beta Men". New York.
  22. ^ Calaway, Libby (May 12, 1999). "The Most Henpecked Man in Manhattan". New York Post.
  23. ^ Gould Keil, Jennifer (April 8, 2015). "Broker legend Barbara Corcoran buys $10M penthouse". New York Post.
  24. ^ "A look at Barbara Corcoran, 'Shark Tank' investor and founder of NYC real estate brokerage". Fox Business. Associated Press. August 6, 2014.
  25. ^ Locke, Taylor (March 10, 2020). "Barbara Corcoran: How dyslexia 'made me a millionaire'". CNBC. Retrieved August 19, 2020.

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