John W. Henry
|John W. Henry|
|Owner of the Boston Red Sox|
|Preceded by||John Harrington|
|Owner of Liverpool Football Club|
October 15, 2010
|Preceded by||Tom Hicks &
George N. Gillett, Jr.
September 13, 1949 |
Quincy, Illinois, U.S
|Spouse(s)||Mai Henry (divorced)
Peggy Sue Henry (m. 1998–2008)
Linda Pizzuti (m. 2009)
|Alma mater||Victor Valley High School
Victor Valley College
University of California
John William Henry II (born September 13, 1949) is an American businessman and investor. He founded John W. Henry & Company (JWH). He is the principal owner of the The Boston Globe, Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club, and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing. In March 2006, Boston Magazine estimated Henry's net worth at $1.1 billion but noted that his company had recently experienced difficulties. In November 2012, the company announced that it would stop managing clients' money by the end of the year, and John Henry confirmed that total assets under the firm's management had fallen from $2.5 billion in 2006 to less than $100 million as of late-2012.
John William Henry II was born on September 13, 1949 in Quincy, Illinois. His parents were soybean farmers, and he split his time growing up between Illinois and Arkansas. His asthmatic condition at the age of 15 prompted his family to move to Apple Valley, California. After his graduation from Victor Valley High School in Victorville, he attended Victor Valley College, then the University of California (at Riverside, Irvine, and Los Angeles), where he majored in philosophy but did not graduate — partly the result of performing on the road in two rock and roll bands, Elysian Fields and Hillary.
Henry started trading corn and soybean futures to learn the basics of hedging the price risk of holding an inventory of these commodities, whether in storage or out in the field. In 1976, a commodities broker at Reynolds Securities asked him to advise other farmers, but he declined. After spending a summer in Norway with his first wife, Mai, Henry developed a mechanical trend following method for managing a futures trading account. He tested his trend-reversal method—which was never out of the market but always held a position (either long or short) in every one of the markets in the account's "basket" of commodities—"using his own money" (in the words of his marketing literature of 1983). When that test proved successful, he founded JWH in 1981, opened a small office across the street from the airport in Irvine, California, and began marketing his management to the largest commodity brokerage firms in America. That proved so successful by 1983 that he moved to considerably larger quarters at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. In 1989, Henry moved to Westport, Connecticut. Two years later, Henry established a second office in Boca Raton.
John W. Henry & Company, Inc.
JWH was established in 1981 and began taking retail clients in 1982.
The firm's management methods make mechanical, non-discretionary trading decisions in response to systematic determinations of reversals in each market's direction, with the explicit intention of precluding not only human emotion, but also any subjective evaluation of such things as the so-called fundamentals, to trigger each decision to be long or short each market, or not. On November 9, 2012, John W. Henry & Co., the financial trading firm owned by the Red Sox owner, informed clients it would stop managing their assets on December 31, 2012.
John W. Henry grew up a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, especially their star Stan Musial. After acquiring his fortune, his first foray into professional sports was in purchasing a AAA minor league team – the Tucson Toros of the Pacific Coast League in 1989. He was also one of the founders of the Senior Professional Baseball Association (a winter league in Florida composed of retired Major League players). Henry co-owned the winning team in 1989–1990 – the West Palm Beach Tropics managed by former Boston Red Sox Impossible Dream (1967) manager, Dick Williams. He sold his interest in 1990, and the league went out of business the following year. In 1990, Henry negotiated to purchase the Orlando Magic NBA team, for a short time was the lead general for an expansion team which became the Colorado Rockies, headed a group attempting to land an NHL expansion bid for South Florida which ended up going to Tampa Bay, pre-dating South Florida's more successful NHL expansion bid soon after by Wayne Huizenga. Subsequently, Henry negotiated to buy the Miami Heat and later the New Jersey Nets.
Henry entered Major League Baseball with his purchase of a small interest in the New York Yankees in 1991. Henry became the sole owner of the Florida Marlins in 1999, purchasing the Major League club from Huizenga for a reported $158,000,000. In January 2002 Henry sold the Marlins in a multi-franchise deal to Jeffrey Loria, then owner of the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals). Simultaneously, Henry led a purchase of the Boston Red Sox with partners Tom Werner and the New York Times Company from the Yawkey Trust headed by John Harrington. Henry, as principal owner and Werner, as chairman, assembled a front office team headed up by Larry Lucchino with the express goal of "breaking the Curse of the Bambino." He also hired baseball sabermetrics pioneer Bill James, whose work became widely known following the publication of Moneyball in 2003. Henry accomplished his championship goal in the 2004 World Series, against his former childhood favorite Cardinals, and again in 2013. He also won the World Series in 2007 against a franchise with which he had pre-expansion involvement, the Rockies. He is also responsible for saving Fenway Park from the wrecking ball. The previous Red Sox owners had planned on building a new Fenway Park next door, but Henry chose to keep and renovate (including new seats over the Green Monster) the current Fenway Park, which celebrated its centennial in 2012.
New England Sports Ventures
Henry and Werner established New England Sports Ventures in 2001. The company owns the Boston Red Sox, 80% of the New England Sports Network (which also carries the NHL's Boston Bruins), Fenway Park, Fenway Sports Management (a sports marketing and management firm), various real estate properties surrounding Fenway Park, and as of 2010, Liverpool Football Club
In 2010, New England Sports Ventures changed its name to Fenway Sports Group.
Liverpool Football Club
In October 2010 the Fenway Sports Group took over Liverpool F.C. As of May 2011, Tom Hicks and George N. Gillett, Jr. announced that they would sue for at least $1.6 billion for the "extraordinary swindle" they suffered. On February 26, 2012 Liverpool won the 2012 Football League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, beating Cardiff City 3–2 on penalties after the game finished 1–1 after 90 minutes and 2–2 after extra time. This was Liverpool's first trophy since the 2006 FA Cup Final win over West Ham United on May 13, 2006 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In May 2012 he made a controversial decision by sacking manager and club icon Kenny Dalglish citing the club's poor league results. This was regarded as a poor decision by some football pundits such as Dalglish's friend and teammate Alan Hansen, given Dalglish's success in lifting the club from 4 points above the relegation zone to a cup win. After successfully persuading Brendan Rodgers to become the new manager, in July John Henry disclosed the reason behind parting company with Dalglish, citing it had nothing to do with failing to win the FA Cup, nor the Suarez case (as assumed by Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson), but due to the club's poor performance in the second half of the 2011-12 season. “The FA Cup would not have made any difference had he won it,” said Henry. “For us we were 17th over the second half of the season and Liverpool should not be in that position. I don’t place the blame on Kenny and Steve (Clarke) – but I think it was obvious to every Liverpool fan that something was wrong and something needed to be done."
In 2007, Henry's Fenway Sports Group bought a 50% stake in Jack Roush's Roush Fenway Racing stock car racing team. Driver Matt Kenseth won the Auto Club 500 at the California Speedway in February 2007 marking Henry's first win as an owner. In February 2009 the team won their first Daytona 500 with Matt Kenseth. Henry is currently listed as the owner of the #17 Ford driven by second-year Sprint Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr..
iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations
In September 2004 Henry and David Kaemmer founded iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations for developing a racing simulation service aimed at both real-world racers and racing simulator enthusiasts. The service was launched in August 2008.
In the predawn hours of Saturday, August 3, 2013, both The Boston Globe and The New York Times carried stories on their web sites reporting that Henry had agreed to purchase The Globe, the Worcester [Mass.] Telegram & Gazette and related New England media properties for $70 million in cash. The Globe's story described Henry as "a personally shy businessman with a history of bold bets." The Times story quoted Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy as confirming the sale deal.
Both stories included a statement from Henry: "The Boston Globe's award-winning journalism as well as its rich history and tradition of excellence have established it as one of the most well-respected media companies in the country." In the reported statement, Henry cited "the essential role that its journalists and employees play in Boston, throughout New England, and beyond."
The stories noted that Henry had initially been among a group of partners who had joined in bidding on The Globe properties, but ended up agreeing to acquire them individually. However,The Times story reported him saying: "In coming days there will be announcements concerning those joining me in this community commitment and effort."
At the time of the purchase, a conservative San Diego media mogul alleged that he outbid Henry for The Globe and that the management of The New York Times did not accept his offer because they preferred to sell to someone who would continue the "liberal" editorial slant of The Globe.
In popular culture
Henry was briefly portrayed by Arliss Howard in the 2011 film Moneyball which follows Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and his quest to build a winning team in 2002. Towards the end of the film, Beane travels to Boston's Fenway Park where he meets with Henry, who wants Beane to become the new GM of the Red Sox. The film notes that Beane turned down a five-year, $12.5 million contract with Boston and returned to Oakland, but adds that the Red Sox, despite failing to hire Beane, did implement many of his "Moneyball" ideas and would go on to win the 2004 World Series, marking the first Red Sox championship in 86 years.
- 50 Wealthiest Bostonians Boston Magazine, March 2006, accessed July 6, 2007
- John W. Henry to Stop Managing Client Money Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2012
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- Hansen, Alan (2012-05-17). "BBC Sport - Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool sacking unfair - Alan Hansen". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- George Ankers (May 18, 2012). "Dalglish's demise the latest misjudgement in FSG's Liverpool reign of error". Goal.com.
- Press Association (2012-07-20). "Brendan Rodgers will not be set Champions League qualification target | Football | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- Press Association (2012-07-20). "Sir Alex Ferguson says Suárez/Evra case contributed to Dalglish exit | Football | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- James Pearce (July 26, 2012). "Liverpool FC principal owner John W Henry says Kenny Dalglish would have been sacked even if the club had won the FA Cup". Liverpool Echo.
- "Red Sox owner buys 50% stake in Roush Racing". Boston Globe. 2007-02-10.
- "San Diego bidder questions Globe buy". Boston Herald. Retrieved August 22, 2013.