Jesse Itzler

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Jesse Itzler
Born (1968-08-22) August 22, 1968 (age 49)
Roslyn, New York, United States
Citizenship United States
Education Justice, law, and society
Alma mater American University (B.A., 1990) [1][2]
Occupation Founder of The 100 Mile Group, Entrepreneur, author
Spouse(s) Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx) (m. 2008)
Children 4
Parent(s) Daniel and Elese Itzler

Jesse Eric Itzler (born August 22, 1968)[3] is an entrepreneur, author, and former rapper.[4][5] He is the co-founder of Marquis Jet, one of the largest private jet card companies in the world, a partner in Zico Coconut Water, the founder of The 100 Mile Group and an owner of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.[6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Roslyn, New York in August 22, 1968. He is the son of Jewish-descent Daniel Itzler, an inventor, and Elese Itzler,[8] the president of the Roslyn Board of Education. Itzler earned his bachelor's degree in 1990 from American University. He later obtained a degree in justice, law, and society.[1][2]


Music career[edit]

After graduating college, Itzler signed with Delicious Vinyl records as a songwriter/artist. He released his debut album Thirty Footer in Your Face using the pseudonym Jesse Jaymes in 1991. He co-wrote songs for various artists including Tone Lōc.[4] His first single "Shake It Like A White Girl" reached 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1991[9] and was featured in the soundtrack of the 2004 movie White Chicks.[10] In 1992, Itzler wrote and sang the New York Knicks theme song "Go NY Go"[11] as well as original songs for more than 50 other professional teams. Itzler wrote and sang the Emmy Award-winning song "I Love This Game" and also produced the theme song for Inside the NBA. Itzler is credited with campaigns for Foot Locker and Coca-Cola.[12]


In 1996, Itzler co-founded Alphabet City Sports Records with his friend Kenny Dichter.[13] The record company is known for mixing classic arena songs with highlights of historical play-by-play calls for professional sports teams including the Wizards, the Mavericks, and the Lakers. In 1998, the company was sold to SFX.[14]

In 2001, Itzler co-founded Marquis Jet, one of the largest private jet card companies in the world.[15] Itzler served as the company’s Vice Chairman until the company was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, parent company of NetJets, in 2009.[6][16]

In 2009, Itzler created the 100 Mile Group, a brand incubator and accelerator.[17][18] The company announced a partnership with ZICO Coconut Water and the Coca Cola company in 2009.[19] In 2012, ZICO was acquired by Coca Cola for an undisclosed sum.[15]

In 2015, Itzler and his wife Sara Blakely, joined Tony Ressler and Grant Hill to create an ownership group for the NBA's Atlanta Hawks. The group purchased the team from Bruce Levenson for estimated $730 million[20] - $850 million.[21][22]

In November 2015, Itzler released his book Living With a Seal: 31 Days Training With the Toughest Man on the Planet.[23] The book was a New York Times Best Seller and ranked first on the LA Times book list.[24][25]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, Itzler competed in the USA National Ultra Marathon Championship in Grapevine, Texas, successfully completing a 100 mile run in under 24 hours.[26] Itzler finished 49th out of 80 in the SEA Paddle NYC 25 mile stand up paddle race around Manhattan in 2012.[27]

Itzler's partner early in his life and career was Dana Mozie, whom he met in 1987, a person described as being from a "strikingly different background... raised in the southeast section of Washington... as streetwise as Itzler was suburban," with whom he collaborated on several musical projects in his period as Jesse Jaymes.[2]

In 2008, Itzler married Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx.[15][28] The couple has four children.[29][30]


  1. ^ a b Reichley, Melissa, "Alumni Success Story: Go-Getter Itzler on Third Career: Marquis Jet", Alumni News, American University
  2. ^ a b c Rhoden, William C. (February 18, 1995). "Sports of The Times; Hip-Hop In Orange And Blue". The New York Times. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  3. ^ Potkewitz, Hilary (2008). "40 Under Forty". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved March 9, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Janes, Erika Rasmusson (November 1, 2004). "NBA Idol: An Entrepreneur Raps His Way Into The Big Leagues". Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ Family's Live-In Navey SEAL Identified. New York Post. November 3, 2015. Jennifer Gould Kell. accessed February 9, 2016
  6. ^ a b Natalie Robehmed (January 14, 2014). "How To Pitch Successfully From Rapper-Turned-Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler". Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  7. ^ Atlanta Hawks Agree to Sell Team to Antony Ressler-Grant Hill Group. USA Today.Jeff Zillgitt. April 22, 2015. accessed February 9, 2016
  8. ^ Kroll, Chana (July 20, 2009). "Jewish News: '100-Mile Man' Funds Educational Center for Underprivileged Children". 
  9. ^ Billboard Hot 100 [1] Original: Week of February 01, 1992, Referenced: February 22, 2011
  10. ^ "White Chicks Soundtrack". IMDB. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  11. ^ Erika Rasmusson Janes (November 1, 2004). "NBA Idol: An entrepreneur raps his way into the big leagues". CNN Money. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  12. ^ Executive Transactions. Street and Smith's Sports Business Daily. November 1, 2001. accessed February 9, 2016
  13. ^ Billboard Magazine May 17, 1997 [2] By Gina Van Der Viliet via Google Books accessed February 22, 2011
  14. ^ Alphabet City Alums Soar After Selling Firm to SFX. Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal. Andy Bernstein. December 9, 2002. accessed February 9, 2016
  15. ^ a b c "This Rapper From The Nineties Has A Sick New Startup". November 11, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  16. ^ Teresa Novellino (October 31, 2013). "Good music, great grub? Vowch it to friends, says Jesse Itzler". Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  17. ^ American Booty. Forbes. Clare O'Connor. March 7, 2002. accessed February 9, 2016
  18. ^ Following A Winner:Tracking The Investment Profile of Super Investor Isaac Blech.Reuters. Scott Matusow. September 20, 2012. accessed February 9, 2016
  19. ^ Coca-Cola Finishes Purchase of Majority ZICO Stake. Bevnet. April 11, 2012. accessed February 9, 2016
  20. ^ Bloomberg: "NBA Governors Approve $730 Million Hawks Sale to Ressler’s Group" By Scott Soshnick and Zeke Faux June 24, 2015
  21. ^ "Atlanta Hawks Sold to Ares' Ressler for $850 million, Group Includes Sara Blakely and Grant Hill". Atlanta Business Chronicle. April 24, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2016. 
  22. ^ Atlanta Hawks Selling for $850 Million. The Wall Street Journal. Ben Cohen. April 22, 2015. accessed February 9, 2016
  23. ^ What You Learn Living One Month With a Navy SEAL. CBS News. November 9, 2015. accessed February 9, 2016
  24. ^ "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous". The New York Times. November 20, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Paperback Nonfiction". Los Angeles Times. November 20, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  26. ^ Abramson, Mitch (January 6, 2007). "Nothing's Impossible, Not Even 100 Miles in 24 Hours". Newsday. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  27. ^ Parker, Christopher (August 17, 2012). "[RESULTS] Rojas, Anderson Win The 2012 SEA Paddle NYC". SUP Racer. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  28. ^ Atlanta Weddings (Atlanta Magazine): Spanx inventor Sarah Blakely on her wedding day" by Vikki Locke Archived 2013-04-18 at the Wayback Machine. October 18, 2008
  29. ^ The Wall Street Journal (New York): "A Day in the Life of Spanx's Founder Sara Blakely" by Christopher Ross August 14, 2014
  30. ^ The Observe (London): "Sara Blakely: a woman with a great grasp of figures" by Zoe Wood March 10, 2012

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