Gary Winnick

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Gary Winnick
Gary Winnick and Madeleine Albright (14823035476).jpg
Gary Winnick and Madeleine Albright
Born (1947-10-13) October 13, 1947 (age 72)
NationalityUnited States
EducationB.A. C.W. Post College, Long Island University (LIU Post)
OccupationFinancier and Philanthropist
Known forSenior Vice President, Drexel Burnham Lambert, Founder and Chairman, Global Crossing, Chairman, Winnick & Company
Spouse(s)Karen Winnick

Gary Winnick is an American financier best known for founding and being Chairman of Global Crossing between 1997 and 2002. He resigned from the company in 2002 just before the company filed for bankruptcy protection.[1][2] He is a global philanthropist who has funded hospitals, museums, schools and college scholarships. The Winnick Family Foundation has funded scholarships at Stanford University, Cornell University, Brown University, Tufts University and LIU Post, and endowed a faculty position at Columbia University.[3][4]

As of April 1999, Winnick had amassed the fastest billion dollar fortune in history with $4.5 billion in 18 months from a $15 million investment in Global Crossing.[5] He reached the mark faster than Jeff Bezos (4 years), Mark Zuckerberg (4 years) and Bill Gates (12 years).[6]

He is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Winnick & Company,[7] a Los Angeles-based private investment firm founded in 1985.[8]

Early life[edit]

Winnick was born to a Jewish family[9] in 1947 and grew up in New York, New York. His father owned a restaurant-supply business.[9] When he was 16, he got his first job at a Howard Johnson's on Northern Boulevard.[10] He graduated from the C.W. Post University, part of Long Island University, in 1969.[11]


Drexel Burnham Lambert[edit]

Winnick joined Drexel Burnham in 1972. There he was senior vice president and a partner of Michael Milken.[12]

Winnick & Company[edit]

Gary Winnick in his office at Winnick & Co. in Beverly Hills

In 1985, Winnick formed Pacific Capital Group, a private investment firm focused on private equity and restructuring. In 2013 the name of Pacific Capital Group changed to Winnick & Company. Winnick & Company invests in a select group of industries, including digital media, entertainment, technology, telecommunications, health care, and real estate.

Global Crossing Limited[edit]

In 1997, Winnick founded Global Crossing Limited, a great boon for consumers. The laying of global fiber highways flattened the world, broke down the global regionalism and created a seamless global commercial network. [13] Global Crossing laid the first privately financed underwater fiber optic cable network across the Atlantic Ocean. [14] First privately financed underwater fiber-optic cable network across the Atlantic Ocean and partnered with Microsoft and Softbank Corp. to build a high capacity telecommunications network. [15] Microsoft Partners with Softbank and Global Crossing to Increase Broadband Connectivity in Asia. [16] The company succeeded in quickly laying cables between America, Europe and Asia to create a network that now connects hundreds of cities in 27 countries on four continents and represents 20% of all undersea capacity leaving the U.S.[17][18] The company, which Winnick served as Chairman, went public in 1998. Global Crossing was profitable its first year in operation.[19]

In January 2002, Global Crossing reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced that Singapore Technologies Telemedia would take a controlling interest in the company. Winnick created a $3.5 billion cash tender for the stock of Global Crossing, which was the largest offer in the industry at that time. [20] Winnick resigned as Chairman of Global Crossing in December 2002. Global Crossing insider sales were about $150 million in disposals in 2001. Of the total amount sold by company executives and directors since 1999, about $735 million was sold by Gary Winnick, the company’s chairman and founder, both directly and through foundations. Winnick donated $25 million to Global Crossing employees who lost money in the company’s 401k retirement plan. [21]


Winnick founded The Winnick Family Foundation in 1983. As Chairman, he funds such initiatives as The Winnick Family Clinical Research Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and The Winnick International Conference Center of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Jerusalem.[22] He has endowed a Winnick Faculty Scholar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Winnick serves on several boards, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Simon Wiesenthal Center, Hillel International, and The Greatest Generations Foundation.

Winnick has funded student scholarships at Brown University, Cornell University, Syracuse University and the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University.[23] At Long Island University, he restored the Post Mansion and transformed the main cafeteria into the Arnold S Winnick Student Center, named in memory of his late father.[24] Among the many grantees the foundation supports are the Winnick Popular Library at the Los Angeles Central Library,[25] Teach for America, the Winnick Family Children's Zoo in Los Angeles Zoo, Skirball Cultural Center's Winnick Hall, the Los Angeles Police Foundation and The Greatest Generations Foundation.[26]

Personal life[edit]

He received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, C.W. Post Campus, in 2004.[27] He is married to his wife, Karen Beth Winnick; they have three sons.[9] Karen is an author, illustrator, and publisher of children's books.[28][29] According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, Winnick is the owner of the 28,000-square-foot “Bellagio House” near the Bel-Air Country Club.


  1. ^ "Founder Escapes Charges in Global Crossing Failure". Los Angeles Times. 14 December 2004.
  2. ^ "Global Crossing Chairman Gary Winnick To Resign From Board". CRN. 31 December 2002.
  3. ^ "No Setback in Winnick's Giving". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Endowed Professorships and Directorships". Stanford University. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  5. ^ "The $20 Billion Crumb". Forbes. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Speed to Wealth". Forbes. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Executive Profile". BloombergBusiness. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  8. ^ "The $20 Billion Crumb". Forbes. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Jewish Journal: "Gary Winnick Steps Out Front: 'The Wealthiest Man in Los Angeles' is driven to succeed and to give to the Jewish community" by Tom Tugend September 30, 1999
  10. ^ Smith, Jim. "From Student to Benefactor". LIU Magazine (Fall 2014). Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  11. ^ Winnick receives honorary doctorate from C.W. Post University Archived 2006-09-12 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ David Cay Johnston (2003). Perfectly Legal.
  13. ^ Friedman, Thomas (July 24, 2007). The World Is Flat : A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (Edition 3 ed.). U.S.: Picador. p. 73-75. ISBN 0312425074. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ [3]
  17. ^ [4]
  18. ^ Archived 2009-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "The $20 Billion Crumb". Forbes. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Large Gift to Help Wiesenthal Center Build Israel Facility [permanent dead link]
  23. ^ No Setback in Winnick's Giving
  24. ^ C. W. Post Gets $10 Million Gift
  25. ^ The Winnick Family Foundation Announces Major New Gift to Los Angeles Public Library
  26. ^ Winnick Supports LA Police Foundation Community College Scholarship
  27. ^ Winnick receives honorary doctorate from C.W. Post University Archived 2006-09-12 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ PR Newswire: "Karen Winnick Appointed Chairwoman of Winnick Family Foundation" March 18, 2014
  29. ^ Karen Winnick website: "About Me" Archived 2014-06-26 at the Wayback Machine retrieved August 1, 2014

External links[edit]