Dan Gilbert

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Dan Gilbert
Gilbert in 2019
Daniel Gilbert

(1962-01-17) January 17, 1962 (age 62)
Alma materMichigan State University (BA)
Wayne State University (JD)
Occupation(s)Co-founder and chairman, Rocket Mortgage
Majority owner, Cleveland Cavaliers[1]
SpouseJennifer Gilbert
RelativesGary Gilbert (brother)
Awards2016 NBA Champion
2016 Calder Cup Champion

Daniel Gilbert (born January 17, 1962) is an American billionaire, businessman, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and majority owner of Rocket Mortgage, founder of Rock Ventures, and owner of the National Basketball Association's Cleveland Cavaliers. Gilbert owns several sports franchises, including the American Hockey League's Cleveland Monsters, and the NBA G League's Cleveland Charge. He operates the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, home to the Cavaliers and Monsters. As of January 2023, Forbes estimated his net worth at US$18.3 billion.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Gilbert was born to a Jewish[3][4] family in Detroit, Michigan.[5] He grew up in Southfield, Michigan, where he attended Southfield-Lathrup High School.[6] He earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School, and he is a member of the State Bar of Michigan.[7] While in college he earned a real estate agent's license,[8] and while in law school, he worked part-time at his parents' Century 21 Real Estate agency.[9]

Business career[edit]

Rocket Mortgage[edit]

Gilbert founded Rock Financial in 1985 with Ron Berman, Lindsay Gross and his younger brother Gary Gilbert.[10] In the late 1990s, the company launched its internet strategy, becoming an early online direct mortgage lender. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the company became the largest retail mortgage lender by volume in the United States.[11]

In 2000, software maker Intuit Inc. purchased Rock Financial and renamed the national web operation Quicken Loans.[12] In 2002, Gilbert and a group of private investors purchased Quicken Loans and its affiliated national title company, Title Source, Inc., from Intuit.[13] As of 2021, Gilbert was the chairman of Quicken Loans, Inc.[14]

In 2007, Gilbert and the city of Detroit announced an agreement to move the company's headquarters to downtown Detroit.[15] All 3,600 Michigan-based employees moved into Detroit's urban core by the end of 2010.[16]

In August 2020, Quicken Loans went public under the name Rocket Companies and made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "RKT".[17] As of 2020, Gilbert remained the majority owner, controlling 79% of the company's shares.[17]

Sports franchise ownership[edit]

In 2005, Dan Gilbert bought the Cleveland Cavaliers for $375 million, which was then a record price for an NBA team.[18] Since then, he has overseen significant improvements to the team's facilities and helped bring in top players like LeBron James.

In 2006, Gilbert also purchased the Cleveland Monsters, a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. The team is affiliated with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets.

Gilbert has been an active and vocal owner, often speaking out on social media and in public about his teams and the NBA. He has also been involved in efforts to bring major sporting events to Cleveland, including the NBA All-Star Game and the NFL Draft.

Gilbert's ownership of the Cavaliers has been marked by both success and controversy. The team won its first NBA championship in 2016, but also went through a tumultuous period after LeBron James left in 2018. Additionally, Gilbert has faced criticism for his treatment of former head coach David Blatt and for his aggressive pursuit of tax incentives and public funding for his various business ventures in Cleveland.[19][20]

Overall, however, Dan Gilbert's ownership of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cleveland Monsters has been a significant part of his business and investment portfolio, and he remains a prominent figure in both the NBA and the city of Cleveland.

Other businesses and investments[edit]

Gilbert is a founding partner in the private equity group Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC (RBE).[21] The partnership invests in growing businesses in the financial services, Internet technology, consumer-direct marketing, and the sports and entertainment industries.

RBE has significant investments in Gas Station TV,[22] Robb Report,[23] and RapidAdvance,[24] among other ventures.

Gilbert is also an investor in Courtside Ventures,[25] a venture capital fund investing across early-stage technology and media companies with a focus on sports and is a founding partner of Detroit Venture Partners (DVP), a venture capital firm that funds start-up and early-stage technology companies based primarily in Detroit.[23] Some of the companies DVP has invested in includes LevelEleven,[26] iRule[27] and Marxent Labs.[28][29]

Gilbert cofounded StockX, a stock market of things for high-demand, limited edition products such as sneakers.[30] Gilbert is also invested and involved in the operation of several consumer-based technology-centered businesses, including Fathead, Veritix, Xenith, StyleCaster and Quizzle.[31]

Gilbert launched nonprofit Bizdom in 2007, which promotes both tech and brick-and-mortar entrepreneurship in Detroit and Cleveland by supporting on-the-ground service providers.[32]

In November 2009, Gilbert and a group of partners successfully backed a statewide referendum to bring casino gaming to Ohio's four largest cities. Through a joint venture with Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the groups operate urban-based casinos in both Cleveland and Cincinnati. The first of the casinos, Jack Cleveland Casino, opened in May 2012.[31]

In 2013, Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity for Gilbert's investments and real estate holdings, announced it had formed Athens Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Rock Gaming, and acquired the majority interest in Greektown Superholdings Inc., owner of the Greektown Casino-Hotel located in downtown Detroit.[33] In late 2018, Gilbert bought the online dictionaries, Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com.[34]

In November 2017, former professional Call of Duty player and 100 Thieves CEO Matthew "Nadeshot" Haag announced that Gilbert had made a multimillion-dollar investment into the esports organization.[35]

Detroit initiatives[edit]

Quicken Loans moved its headquarters and 1,700 of its employees to downtown Detroit in August 2010,[36] where Gilbert and the company are helping lead a revitalization of Detroit's urban core.[citation needed]

Gilbert's Bedrock Detroit has purchased several buildings in downtown Detroit, including the historic Madison Theatre Building,[37] Chase Tower, Two Detroit Center,[38] Dime Building,[39] the First National Building[40] the David Stott Building and the former Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch Building.[41] Bedrock Detroit has also purchased several buildings on the city's Woodward Avenue, including One Woodward Avenue and the 1001 Woodward office tower.[42][43]

In September 2013, Gilbert was named co-chair of the Blight Removal Task Force. The group published a detailed plan in May 2014 to remove all blighted structures and lots in the City of Detroit.[44]

In 2015, he purchased Book Tower in Detroit for the price of $30 million.[45]

A 2017 Politico Magazine article named Gilbert one of "America's 11 Most Interesting Mayors", listing him as though he were Mayor of Detroit due to his role in the city's development.[46]

In September 2017, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan appointed Gilbert to lead a committee to make a bid for online retail giant Amazon to bring its second North American headquarters to Detroit.[47] In 2018, Amazon narrowed its list of potential headquarters locations, removing Detroit from its list of contenders.[48]

Philanthropy and political donations[edit]

In September 2012, Gilbert and his wife Jennifer joined The Giving Pledge, committing to give half of their wealth to philanthropy throughout their lifetimes.[49]

Gilbert's eldest son was born with neurofibromatosis[50] and died at the age of 26 in 2023. Gilbert established two neurofibromatosis research clinics at the Children's National Medical Center (CNMC) in Washington, D.C., and at the Dana Children's Hospital at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel. Gilbert is also on the boards of the Children's Tumor Foundation, the Cleveland Clinic, and the Children's Hospital Foundation (an affiliate of CNMC); and is the vice-chairman of the not-for-profit M-1 RAIL initiative which is dedicated to promoting light-rail transportation in downtown Detroit.[51]

In 2015, Gilbert donated $750,000 to the presidential candidacy of Chris Christie.[52]

In September 2016, Gilbert donated $5 million to Wayne State University Law School. In October of that year, Gilbert also donated $15 million toward the planned $50-million Breslin Center renovation project at Michigan State University.[53]

In 2020, Gilbert made a $1.2 million donation to help COVID-19 relief efforts in the city of Detroit.[54]

Personal life[edit]

Gilbert resides in Michigan with his wife Jennifer Gilbert.[55] His wife is on the Gilbert Family Neurofibromatosis Institute at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and on the boards of ORT America and the Israeli and Overseas Committee of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.[56][57] On May 26, 2019, Gilbert was taken to the hospital and treated for a stroke at the age of 57.[58] His eldest son Nick Gilbert, died on May 6, 2023, after a long battle with neurofibromatosis.[59]

Awards and honors[edit]

Gilbert's companies have achieved the following accolades under his watch:

Quicken Loans/Rocket Mortgage

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Monsters


  1. ^ "Cleveland Cavaliers and NBA Bring Hope To City With 2022 NBA All-Star Game". Forbes. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  2. ^ "Forbes profile: Daniel Gilbert". Forbes. Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  3. ^ Guth, Douglas J. (March 3, 2005). "It's official! Dan Gilbert is Cavaliers' new boss". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  4. ^ "Jewish Billionaires: 43 – Daniel Gilbert". Forbes Israel (in Hebrew). September 4, 2013. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  5. ^ Burns, Matt (December 3, 2012). "An Interview With Dan Gilbert, Self-Made Hometown Billionaire And The Leader Of The Detroit Renaissance". Tech Crunch. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  6. ^ Davis, Dave (October 15, 2011). "Dan Gilbert's Rock Gaming partners bound by friendship, desire to build upscale 'urban' casinos". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  7. ^ "Attorney Denise Lewis on diversity, development and Dan Gilbert". Crain's Detroit Business. October 24, 2020. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  8. ^ Segal, David (April 13, 2013). "A Missionary's Quest to Remake Motor City". The New York Times. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  9. ^ Boudway, Ira (November 18, 2010). "Left Behind by LeBron". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "13 YEARS LATER, ROCK FINANCIAL IS GOING PUBLIC". Crain's Detroit Business. March 29, 2006. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  11. ^ "Quicken Loans becomes largest U.S. mortgage lender". AP NEWS. February 2, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  12. ^ "Intuit buys Rock Financial". money.cnn.com. October 7, 1999. Archived from the original on December 14, 2001. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  13. ^ "Quicken Loans, the New Mortgage Machine". The New York Times. January 21, 2017. Archived from the original on January 21, 2017.
  14. ^ Pound, Jesse (March 3, 2021). "Rocket Mortgage founder Dan Gilbert made $30 billion on paper after stock's surge". CNBC. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  15. ^ Williams, Candice; Shepardson, David; Abdel-Razzaq, Lauren. "Gilbert buys One Detroit Center; Ally moves in". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on July 18, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  16. ^ Lee, Richard Feloni, Samantha. "Billionaire Dan Gilbert has invested $5.6 billion in nearly 100 properties in Detroit — see the full map of exactly what he owns". Business Insider. Retrieved October 1, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ a b Noble, Breana. "Rocket Companies IPO offers 100 million shares at $18 each – far below target". The Detroit News. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  18. ^ Heath, Thomas (January 3, 2005). "Cavaliers, Their Arena Are Sold for $375 Million". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 9, 2024.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ "David Blatt and the unwinding of his Cleveland tenure". ESPN.com. January 23, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2024.
  20. ^ Marini, Miriam. "Detroit City Council approves $60M tax break for Dan Gilbert on Hudson's project". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 9, 2024.
  21. ^ "Gilbert-backed PE firm Rockbridge closes on $345 million fund". Crain's Detroit Business. May 27, 2021. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  22. ^ Henderson, Tom (June 6, 2014). "Rockbridge to buy owner of Gas Station TV". Crain's Detroit Business. Crain's Communications Inc. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  23. ^ Kelly, Keith (December 3, 2014). "Cavaliers owner Gilbert seals deal for Robb Report". New York Post. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  24. ^ "Detroit-based Rockbridge Growth Equity Acquires RapidAdvance" (Press release). Rockbridge Growth Equity. September 16, 2013. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  25. ^ de la Merced, Michael (January 11, 2016). "Bruin Sports to Team Up With Others as Investor". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  26. ^ Pinho, Kirk (August 15, 2014). "Detroit startup LevelEleven raises $2M in VC funding". Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  27. ^ Henderson, Tom (January 4, 2015). "IRule to reveal $2.5M in VC; electronics investor key". Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  28. ^ "DVP-Backed Marxent Labs Wants to Augment Your Shopping Experience | Xconomy". Xconomy. December 12, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  29. ^ "Portfolio". Detroit Venture Partners. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  30. ^ "Why Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert Is Investing in Sneaker Resellers". Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  31. ^ a b "Quicken Loans Leadership Team: Dan Gilbert". Quicken Loans. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  32. ^ "Bizdom to end startup launches, shift to support and recruiting". Crain's Detroit Business. November 6, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  33. ^ Reindl, J.C. (January 13, 2013). "Dan Gilbert-owned company to acquire controlling interest in Greektown Casino". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  34. ^ "Dan Gilbert buys Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com". WXYZ. November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  35. ^ Nadeshot (November 20, 2017), My Team, 100 Thieves, is BACK! (HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT), archived from the original on November 18, 2021, retrieved November 21, 2017
  36. ^ "With over $1.6 billion invested in downtown Detroit, what does Dan Gilbert own?". mlive. February 20, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  37. ^ "Quicken Loans Group Buys Madison Theatre Building" (Press release). QuickenLoans.com. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  38. ^ Williams, Corey (April 7, 2011). "Dan Gilbert completes purchase of Chase Tower downtown, nearby parking garage". Crain's Detroit Business. Associated Press. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  39. ^ Duggan, Daniel (June 21, 2011). "Dan Gilbert to Buy Yet Another Building". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  40. ^ Duggan, Daniel (August 30, 2011). "Dan Gilbert Closes on First National Building". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  41. ^ Gallagher, John. "Dan Gilbert buys Federal Reserve building in Detroit". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  42. ^ Aguilar, Louis. "Putting a price tag on properties linked to Gilbert". The Detroit News. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  43. ^ Gallagher, John. "Dan Gilbert buys 5 more downtown buildings as part of 'Detroit 2.0' vision". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  44. ^ Billionaire Dan Gilbert has already bet $5.6 billion on Detroit's future, but money can't solve his biggest challenge, Richard Feloni Aug. 18, 2018 - Business Insider.
  45. ^ Aguilar, Lewis. "Gilbert expands west, buys Book Tower". The Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  46. ^ "America's 11 Most Interesting Mayors". POLITICO Magazine. June 25, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  47. ^ Livengood, Chad (September 14, 2017). "Dan Gilbert to lead Detroit's Super Bowl-type bid for Amazon HQ2". Crain's Cleveland Business. Crain Communications. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  48. ^ Ferretti, Christine. "Gilbert: Detroit's image, not talent hurt Amazon bid". The Detroit News. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  49. ^ Carlyle, Erin. "Meet the Eight Forbes 400 Billionaires Who Just Signed the Giving Pledge". Forbes. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  50. ^ Boyer, Mary Schmitt (October 30, 2011). "Neurofibromatosis can't change Nick Gilbert's attitude: 'Look at the bright side of everything'". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  51. ^ "Daniel B. Gilbert". Children's Tumour Foundation. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  52. ^ Gomez, Henry J. (August 12, 2015). "Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert places a big bet on Chris Christie, but what about John Kasich? Ohio Politics Roundup". Cleveland.com. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  53. ^ "Dan Gilbert pledges $15 million to Michigan State and Breslin Center renovation". MLive.com. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  54. ^ Sharf, Samantha. "Billionaire Dan Gilbert Is Looking To Save Detroit Again, This Time From Coronavirus". Forbes. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  55. ^ "Daniel Gilbert". Forbes. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  56. ^ Konstantin, Lynne (February 9, 2012). "Jennifer Gilbert is poised to revolutionize the residential interior design industry". The Detroit Jewish News. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  57. ^ "Children's National Health System Dedicates Gilbert Family Professorships in Neurofibromatosis" (Press release). Children's National Medical Center. January 15, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  58. ^ Siacon, Aleanna (May 28, 2019). "Dan Gilbert's Stroke: Why it can happen at any age". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  59. ^ "Nick Gilbert, son of Rocket Cos. founder Dan Gilbert, dies from genetic condition at age 26". The Detroit News. Retrieved May 7, 2023.
  60. ^ "Quicken Loans Ranks Highest in J.D. Power Study of Mortgage Servicing Client Satisfaction in Third Consecutive Year of Eligibility | Quicken Loans Pressroom" (Press release). July 28, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  61. ^ "About Us – Quicken Loans". www.quickenloans.com.

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