August 23, 1932 |
West Chester, Pennsylvania
|Known for||Owner of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1985–1994|
|Net worth||US $ 1.89 billion (June 2015)|
Norman Braman (born August 23, 1932) is an American auto dealer and former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. Norman and his brother-in-law, Ed Leibowitz, officially became the owners of the Eagles on April 29, 1985. Norman owned 65% of the team while Ed owned 35% until July 16, 1986 when Norman bought the rest of the team from Ed. Braman sold the team to movie executive Jeffrey Lurie in 1994.
Early life and education
Braman was born in 1932 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and grew up in the Cobbs Creek section of Philadelphia, where his father owned a barbershop. Braman's parents were both Jews who emigrated from Europe. His Romanian-born mother was a seamstress and his Polish father a barber. Braman was a water boy in his teenage years at the Eagles training camp, which was then in West Chester. During the season, he would sneak into Shibe Park to watch the team play. Braman attended West Philadelphia High School and graduated from Temple University in 1955 with a degree in business administration.
He began his career in 1955 in the marketing and sales department for Seagram's Distributors. In 1957, he founded Keystone Stores, a chain of self-service department stores, in Philadelphia. In 1964, he organized Philadelphia Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics, a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and was President and Chief Executive Officer.
[Sometime in the late 60s or early 70s, he went to work for Harry Miller, father of his wife Irma (Miller) Braman. He ultimately gained control of Irma's father's business, Bargaintown USA, originally located in Lebanon, PA. We find it curious that there is nothing in his bio covering this, or how he came to control Bargaintown USA, before moving on to own the Eagles. Note: the writer of this section went to school with his sister-in-law, Blossom Iris Miller, sister of Irma Braman.]
In 1972, he bought a Cadillac dealership in Tampa. Three years later he bought another in Miami and today he is CEO of Braman Enterprises, an umbrella company for his automotive businesses that include more than 20 car dealerships in Florida and Colorado selling Acura, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Cadillac, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche and Rolls-Royce.
In 1982, he led a successful campaign against a city sales tax that would have renovated the Miami Orange Bowl for Dolphins owner Joe Robbie. From 1985 to 1994, he owned the Philadelphia Eagles football team, having purchased it from Leonard Tose. During Braman's time as owner, the Eagles were NFL NFC Eastern Division champion in 1988 and won at least 10 games for five straight years through 1993.
Braman served on the Board of Governors of various institutions. In 1999, he helped defeat then-County Mayor Alex Penelas campaign for a one-cent sales tax that could have generated billions of dollars to spend on mass transit, while potentially hurting automobile sales.
He recently filed a lawsuit against the Florida Marlins and others over their plans to build a new ballpark. In all seven arguments however, Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen ruled in favor of the Marlins and Miami-Dade County, allowing construction to proceed. Braman however says that he is ready to fight his case as far as the Supreme Court.
He financially supported a recall election against Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez because of a huge property tax increase and pay hikes to Alvarez's top staffers. On March 15, 2011 close to 90% of those that turned out to vote that day in Miami-Dade County, voted to recall the mayor. It is believed to be one of the most lopsided recall elections in the history of American elections.
Braman is a supporter of Marco Rubio, and was considering spending anywhere between US$10 million to US$25 million in support of his 2016 presidential campaign. According to the acknowledgements in his autobiography, Rubio has thanked Braman for being a supporter, and Braman has employed at one time or another Marco Rubio's wife, Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio, at Braman Family Charitable Foundation.
- Forbes: The World's Billionaires – Norman Braman March 2014
- The American Presidency Project, Nomination of Norman Braman To Be Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization September 28, 1981
- Gus Garcia Roberts (December 18, 2008). "Bet on Norman Braman". The Miami New Times. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
- John Steinbreder (September 13, 1993). "The Owners". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
- Peter Mucha (September 23, 2010). "'Richest Americans' list includes 4 from Philly". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
- Kevin Gale (August 2, 2004). "JM Family Enterprises, Southern Wine & Spirits lead the list". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
- Haggman, Matthew (15 May 2011). "9 of 10 say 'yes' to ousting Alvare". Miami Herald. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- Michael Barbaro and Steve Eder (May 9, 2015). "Billionaire Lifts Marco Rubio, Politically and Personally". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- "Marco Rubio's secret weapon". Politico. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- "Reading Of Marco Rubio's Biography". kenfields.net.
- Lebanon Daily News: "Sophie Miller Obituary" on December 6, 2009
- The Florida House of Representatives House Resolution 9123 – A resolution honoring Norman Braman for his philanthropy on behalf of the people of the State of Florida | 2008
- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation: A New Center of Excellence – The Suzi and Scott Lustgarten Center for GI Motility retrieved March 24, 2013