Leslie Alexander (businessman)

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Leslie Alexander
Born Leslie L. Alexander
1944 (age 73–74)
New Jersey, U.S.
Residence Delray Beach, Florida
Nationality American
Alma mater B.A. New York University
J.D. Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Occupation Businessman & Investor. Attorney (ret).
Known for Former owner of the Houston Rockets
Net worth Increase$1.9 billion (December 2016)[1]
Spouse(s) Nanci Shnapier Alexander (divorced)
Children 1

Leslie L. Alexander (born 1944) is an American attorney, businessman and financier. He is a former bond trader from New Jersey. He formerly owned the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Houston Rockets for 24 years, from 1993 to 2017. [2]

Early life[edit]

Leslie L. Alexander was born in 1944, to a Jewish family in New Jersey.[3][4] In 1965, he graduated from New York University with a bachelor's degree in economics and later earned his juris doctor from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.[5][6]

Career[edit]

Alexander began his career as an attorney. From 1978 to 2009, he was a member of the California State Bar.[7] His first job was trading options and bonds for the Wall Street firm, Lawrence Kotkin Associates.[4] In 1980, he left to form his own investment company, The Alexander Group.[4] He also owns an 18.5% stake in First Marblehead, a private student loan company.[8]

In the July before the 1993-94 NBA season, Alexander bought the Houston Rockets for $85 million. The Rockets won the NBA championship the next two years: one in the '93-94 season and another in the '94-95 season.[9] In 2008, he was listed by Forbes magazine as the best owner in the NBA.[10]

In 1998, Alexander attempted to purchase and relocate the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers franchise, but a grassroots bid by local businessmen successfully prevented the sale.[11]

From 1997 until early 2007, Alexander was the owner of the WNBA's Houston Comets. The Comets won the league's first 4 WNBA championships from 1997 to 2000. He sold the team to Hilton Koch in January 2007, one year before The Comets folded.[12]

On July 17, 2017, it was announced that the Rockets were for sale.[13] On September 5, 2017, he reached an agreement to sell the Rockets to fellow Texas businessman Tilman Fertitta, pending league approval, for a worldwide professional sports record of $2.2 billion.[14] Before his departure, Alexander gave the Rockets' General Manager, Daryl Morey, a new contract and extended player James Harden's contract with a record-breaking $228 million, 4-year deal that will last until the end of the 2022-23 NBA season.[2][15] He also retained the two Larry O'Brien Championship Trophies won by the team in 1993-94 and 1994-95 as memontos of his ownership, and the team commissioned replica trophy replacements for the team upon its sale.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Alexander divorced his wife Nanci (née Shnapier) in 2003, paying a $150 million settlement.[17] They have one child and two grandchildren.[4]

He owns a vineyard on Long Island and the related company Leslie Wine, launched in 2008. He also has a residence in Houston.[5]

Alexander was raised Jewish, and now identifies as Agnostic.[18] He is a vegetarian and an advocate of animal rights.[4] He is a supporter of the Democratic Party and has donated $15,000 in the past 20 years to Democratic candidates.[19] He purchased the duplex penthouse of 18 Gramercy Park in 2012, reportedly for $42 million.[20]

Alexander's net worth is an estimated $1.54 billion as of Q1-2016, placing him at #401 on the list of richest people in the United States.[21]

On March 27, 2017 Alexander pledged $10 million to 20 Houston charities, including the Houston Area Women's Center, Houston Public Library Foundation, Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston, and Citizens for Animal Protection.[22] He also pledged $10 million in relief efforts in wake of Hurricane Harvey, which ravaged the city in August 2017.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.forbes.com/profile/leslie-alexander/
  2. ^ a b Blinebury, Fran. "After 24 years, Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander selling team | NBA.com". NBA.com. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  3. ^ Mendelsohn, Ezra Jews and the Sporting Life : Studies in Contemporary Jewry XXIII edited by Institute of Contemporary Jewry Hebrew University of Jerusalem p. 98
  4. ^ a b c d e Forbes: "The 400 Richest Americans - #322 Leslie Alexander September 21, 2006
  5. ^ a b Rockets: Leslie Alexander Biography
  6. ^ Leslie L. Alexander Archived 2011-08-19 at the Wayback Machine. (Houston Comets)
  7. ^ "Leslie Lee Alexander - #79581". State Bar of California. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  8. ^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122713829045342487
  9. ^ NBA.com (Feb 2, 2018). "Former Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander kept title trophies after selling team | NBA.com". Around the League. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Oilers Deal Collapses". Orlando Sentinel. November 5, 1997.
  12. ^ WNBA disbands women's pro basketball team in Houston | Reuters
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ "Source: Fertitta buys Rockets for record $2.2B". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  15. ^ "James Harden agrees to extension worth $228 million, NBA's richest". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  16. ^ Feigen, Jonathan (20 September 2018). "Rockets receive replicas of championship trophies". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  17. ^ Daily Mail: "Billionaire owner of Houston Rockets buys NYC's most expensive downtown Manhattan condo with outdoor INFINITY POOL and FOUR massive terraces for $42 million" September 13, 2013
  18. ^ "The 400 Richest Americans: #322 Leslie Alexander". Forbes.com. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  19. ^ Real GM: "Follow The Money: Political Contributions Of NBA Owners" By Christopher Reina November 03, 2011
  20. ^ Velsey, Kim (October 22, 2012). "18 Gramercy Park Is Having the Best Fall Ever". The New York Observer. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  21. ^ "Leslie Alexander". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  22. ^ "Rockets' Leslie Alexander names charities that will receive parts of $10 million donation". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  23. ^ "Rockets owner reportedly ups aid as help grows". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-11-09.