Daymond John

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Daymond John
Daymond john.jpg
Born Daymond Garfield John
c. 1968/1969 (age 48–49)
Residence New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Founder, President, and CEO of FUBU
Employer FUBU
Known for CEO & Founder of FUBU
Net worth US$250 million (2016)[1]

Daymond Garfield John[2] (born c. 1968/1969)[3] is an American businessman, investor, television personality, author, and motivational speaker. He is best known as the founder, president, and CEO of FUBU, and appears as an investor on the ABC reality television series Shark Tank.[4]

He is based in New York City.

Early life[edit]

John grew up in the Queens neighborhood of Hollis.[5] An only child, John was raised by his mother and grandfather.[citation needed] Early jobs included handing out flyers and waiting tables at Red Lobster.[6] He attended Bayside High School.[7] In high school, he participated in a program that allowed him to work a full-time job and attend school on an alternating weekly basis, which he credits with instilling an entrepreneurial spirit.[8] After graduating high school, he started a commuter van service.[5]



When Daymond John first had the idea for a clothing company for young men, his mother taught him how to sew and supported him by allowing her house to be taken over to grow the business.[9]

Wool ski hats with their tops tied off with fishing line were popular, and John noticed them being sold for $20, which he considered overpriced.[10] He went home and sewed around 90 hats with his next-door neighbor.[11] They sold their homemade hats for $10 each in front of the New York Coliseum, and made $800 in a single day.[7] After the hats, they began selling screen printed T-shirts. To break into the market, they sold on consignment and at large events around the Northeast.[12] To make ends meet, John held a full-time job at Red Lobster, working on the FUBU business in between shifts.[13]

Sensing potential, John and his mother mortgaged their house for $100,000 to generate start-up capital.[7] In addition to Brown, he recruited longtime friends J. Alexander Martin and Keith Perrin into the business, and began sewing the FUBU logo onto hockey jerseys, sweatshirts, and T-shirts.[7] They loaned about 10 of the hockey jerseys out to rappers for their music videos for 2 years. They were perceived as a large clothing brand, despite being a relatively small company and stores started requesting their brand.[12] In 1993, he convinced LL Cool J, an old neighborhood friend, to wear a FUBU T-shirt for a promotional campaign.[14] Later, while filming a 30-second advertising spot for The Gap, LL Cool J wore a FUBU hat in the commercial and incorporated the line "for us, by us" in his rapping.[13][15]

In 1992, John received $300,000 in orders and also an offer for participating in Macy's (M) at a Las Vegas fashion trade show.[16] They had to take out a second mortgage of his mother's house in order to fulfill the orders.[12][17]

Today, the brand is reportedly worth $6 billion.[16]

FUBU is featured at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African-American History and Culture.[18]

Shark Tank[edit]

In 2009, John joined the cast of Shark Tank,[19] a show in which John and four other business executives listen to business pitches from everyday people, and decide whether or not to invest money in their projects.[20][21]

John has invested $7,667,000 dollars in Shark Tank projects as of August 6, 2015.[22]

In 2016, Shark Tank won an Emmy Award,[23] and won Outstanding Reality Program from 2012-2014.[24]

His favorite investments on record were Al "Bubba" Baker's boneless ribs and Bombas socks.[25]

Consulting and speaking[edit]

John has become a public speaker.[26][27] He works with brands and celebrities to create additional revenue streams and brand extensions; some of his clients include Pitbull and the Miss Universe Organization.[28] John is also a brand ambassador for the e-commerce company Shopify.[29]

John has been a motivational and business speaker at engagements include California First Lady Maria Shriver's 2010 Women’s Conference,.[30] AT&T's History Makers Tour,[31] Babson College School of Entrepreneurship,[32] and the Creative LIAisons program at the annual London International Awards.[33]

Awards and reception[edit]

John has received numerous awards, including Brandweek Marketer of the Year, the NAACP Entrepreneurs of the Year Award (which he won twice), the Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, the Essence Award, Crain’s New York Business Forty Under Forty Award, Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Brandeis University International Business School’s Asper Award for Excellence in Global Entrepreneurship, Details 50 Most Influential Men, and the Congressional Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship (which he won twice).[13][19][34][35][36]

FUBU has received attention from the sports and entertainment industry, and has been worn or endorsed by LL Cool J, Janet Jackson, Will Smith, Mary J. Blige, Busta Rhymes, Magic Johnson, Lennox Lewis, and Whitney Houston.[10][11]


John has published three books: Display of Power, The Brand Within, and The Power of Broke. Display of Power is an autobiography that details John's life and early business career. The Power of Broke is a motivational business book that features stories from 15 entrepreneurs, including Steve Aoki, Rob Dyrdek, Kevin Plank, and Loren Ridinger.[37][38] Released in January 2016, it appeared on the WSJ[39] and NYTimes[40] bestseller lists, and received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Instructional Literary Work.[41]

Personal life[edit]

John is dyslexic.[42] Two of his favorite books are Think and Grow Rich and Rich Dad Poor Dad.[13] His father is from Trinidad and Tobago.



  1. ^ "Daymond John". Business Insider. February 1, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Daymond John, Entrepreneur". The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. 
  3. ^ Gomez, Patricia (May 10, 2017). "Shark Tank's Daymond John Opens Up About His Private Cancer Battle — and How He Caught the Disease Early". People. Retrieved May 10, 2017. ...says John, 48. 
  4. ^ "Daymond John | Shark Tank". ABC. Retrieved 2017-02-25. 
  5. ^ a b Gault, Ylonda. 40 Under 40: Daymond John, 28. Crains New York. 1998.
  6. ^ "From waiting tables at Red Lobster to a $300 million fortune: the rags-to-riches story of Daymond John". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  7. ^ a b c d Shark Tank: Daymond John. ABC.
  8. ^ Daymond John. The History Makers. September 16, 2003.
  9. ^ "'Shark Tank' investor Daymond John explains how his mom helped FUBU become a $350 million company". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  10. ^ a b Kaufman, Leslie. Trying to Stay True to the Streets. The New York Times. March 14, 1999.
  11. ^ a b Daymond John: Streets Ahead of the Rest. The Independent. July 18, 2002.
  12. ^ a b c "When we were small: FUBU". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  13. ^ a b c d Ferriss, Tim. The Making of Fubu - An Interview with Daymond John The 4-Hour Workweek Blog. April 7, 2011.
  14. ^ Webster, Nancy Colton. FUBU: Daymond John. Advertising Age. June 28, 1999.
  15. ^ Entrepreneurs Aim to Become Big Names. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. July 27, 2001.
  16. ^ a b "The 5 Habits Shark Tank's Daymond John Wants You To Have". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-11-27. 
  17. ^, Ellen Lee, Special to (2012-08-07). "How FUBU Founder Daymond John Conquered Urban Fashion". CNBC. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  18. ^ "FUBU is featured in The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-Ameri". Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  19. ^ a b Daymond John. Great Black Speakers.
  20. ^ Roose, Kevin. From Shark Tank Co-Host, A Dose of Reality for Start-Ups. The New York Times. April 5, 2011.
  21. ^ 'Shark Tank's' Daymond John Quicker To Go for Jugular These Days. Creators.
  22. ^ Daymond John, Shark Tank host, FUBU founder. Sharkalytics.
  23. ^ "Complete list of 2016 Emmy nominations and winners". Los Angeles Times. 2016-09-18. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  24. ^ "Site Search". Television Academy. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  25. ^ "These are 'Shark Tank' star Daymond John’s favorite investments". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  26. ^ Klara, Robert. Daymond John: Swimming With a Shark (Q&A). AdWeek. April 4, 2011.
  27. ^
  28. ^ Shark Sighting: Daymond John. YoungHollywood.
  29. ^ "Shark Tank's Daymond John Partners with Shopify". Shopify's Ecommerce Blog - Ecommerce News, Online Store Tips & More. Retrieved January 24, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Daymond John". The Women's Conference. Archived from the original on November 1, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Daymond John and Common at the Apollo with AT&T". Harlem World. February 18, 2011. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Daymond John Speaks at Babson College School Entrepreneurship Event". Daymond John. April 21, 2011. Archived from the original on April 27, 2011. 
  33. ^ Interview with Daymond John of 'Shark Tank'. London International Awards. October 14, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  34. ^ McDonough, Kevin. Inspiring Night with Essence Awards. Record-Journal. June 2, 1999.
  35. ^ #25: Daymond John. Crains New York Business.
  36. ^ Nance-Nash, Sheryl. FUBU Founder Daymond John Stages His Next Act. Daily Finance. July 24, 2010.
  37. ^ The Power Of Broke' Interview Series: How To Succeed In Business With No Money In Your Pocket. Forbes. January 18, 2016.
  38. ^ Jonathan Julian Díaz (29 March 2016). "THE POWER OF BROKE: EL NUEVO LIBRO DE DAYMOND JOHN". Noticias & Negocio (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 March 2016. [permanent dead link]
  39. ^ "Best-Selling Books Week Ended Feb. 7". Wall Street Journal. 2016-02-11. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  40. ^ "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous Books - Best Sellers - February 7, 2016 - The New York Times". Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  41. ^ Lewis, Hillary (2017-02-10). "2017 NAACP Image Award Winners: Complete List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  42. ^ "'Shark Tank' investor Daymond John explains how his dyslexia helped shape him into an entrepreneur". Business Insider. Retrieved 2015-12-29. 

External links[edit]