May 16, 1954 |
Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||New York University (B.A.)
Maurice A. Deane School of Law (J.D.)
New York University Stern School of Business (M.B.A.)
|Occupation||Co-owner of Kushner Properties|
|Religion||Modern Orthodox Judaism|
|Spouse(s)||Seryl (Stadtmauer) Kushner|
|Relatives||Esther Schulder (sister)|
Charles Kushner (born May 16, 1954) is an American real estate developer and philanthropist. He founded Kushner Companies in 1985. In 2005, he was convicted of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering, and served time in federal prison. After his release he resumed his career in real estate. He is the father of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and advisor to Donald Trump.
Early life and education
Kushner was born on May 16, 1954 to Joseph and Rae Kushner. He grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey with his elder brother Murray Kushner. His parents were Holocaust survivors who came to America from Poland in 1949. Kushner's father worked as a construction worker, builder and real estate investor.
In 1985, he began managing his father's portfolio of 4,000 New Jersey apartments. He founded Kushner Companies—headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey—and became its chairman. In 1999, he won the Ernst & Young New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year award. At the time, Kushner Companies had grown to over 10,000 residential apartments, a home-building business, commercial and industrial properties and a community bank.
In the summer of 2004, Kushner was fined $508,900 by the Federal Election Commission for contributing to political campaigns in the names of his partnerships when he lacked authorization to do so. In 2005, following an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie negotiated a plea agreement with Kushner, under which Kushner pleaded guilty to 18 counts of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering. The witness-tampering charge arose from Kushner's act of retaliation against William Schulder, his sister's husband, who was cooperating with federal investigators; Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, arranged for an encounter between the two to be secretly recorded, and had the tape sent to his sister. Kushner was represented in his criminal case by noted criminal defense attorney Benjamin Brafman. U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares sentenced Kushner to two years in prison. Kushner served 14 months in federal prison in Montgomery, Alabama, before being sent to a halfway house in Newark, New Jersey to complete his sentence.
New York City real estate
After his release from prison, Kushner shifted his business activities from New Jersey to New York City. In early 2007, Kushner Companies bought the 666 Fifth Avenue building in Manhattan for US$1.8 billion.
Before 2016, Kushner was a donor to the Democratic Party. He serves on the boards of Touro College, Stern College for Women, Rabbinical College of America and the United Jewish Communities. Kushner has donated to Harvard University, Stern College, the St. Barnabas Medical Center and United Cerebral Palsy. He contributed to the funding of two schools, Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, in Livingston, New Jersey and named them after his parents.
In August 2015, Kushner donated $100,000 to Donald Trump's Make America Great Again PAC, a super PAC supporting Trump's 2016 campaign for the presidency. Kushner and his wife also hosted a reception for Trump at their Jersey Shore seaside mansion in Long Branch.
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- "Academic Chairs and Distinguished Professorships", section: "The Joseph Kushner Distinguished Professorship in Civil Liberties Law". 2016-2017 Undergraduate Bulletin, Hofstra University. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
- "1999 New Jersey Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year(R) Award Recipients Announced". Ernst & Young. press release, June 17, 1999. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Associated Press (July 4, 2004). "Briefings: Politics: F.E.C. Fines Developer". New York Times. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
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- Lizzie Widdicombe, [Ivanka and Jared's Power Play: How the patrician couple came to have an outsized influence on a populist Presidential campaign], New Yorker (August 22, 2016).
- New York Magazine: "The Legacy - his son Jared, the 28-year-old Observer owner, has to carry the ambition for the both of them" By Gabriel Sherman July 12, 2009
- In re Kushner, 870 A.2d 248, 183 N.J. 130 (2005).
- In re Kushner, 18 A.D.3d 953, 793 N.Y.S.2d 781 (2005) (per curiam).
- "Public Discipline" (PDF). Pennsylvania Bar Association. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- "CHARLES KUSHNER". Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator.
- Bagli, Charles V. (December 7, 2006). "A Big Deal, Even in Manhattan: A Tower Goes for $1.8 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
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- Katy O'Donnell, Trump attended big-donor fundraiser last month, Politico (August 23, 2015).
- Maggie Haberman, Donald Trump Pays a Visit to His Not-So-Poor Relations, New York Times (August 23, 2016).
- Sherman, Gabriel (July 12, 2009). "The Legacy". New York. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Karoliszyn, Hendrick; Furse, Jane H. (October 25, 2009). "Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner pose for wedding photos after ceremony at Trump National Golf Club". Daily News (New York). Retrieved February 24, 2011.