Paul Fireman

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Paul Fireman
NationalityAmerican
OccupationReal Estate Developer
EmployerFireman Capital Partners
Net worthIncrease US$1.1 billion (August 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Phyllis[2]

Paul Fireman is an American businessman. He led Reebok to becoming one of the most popular shoe companies in the United States starting in the 1980s.

Career[edit]

Fireman was born to a Jewish family[2] and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts where he attended Boston University, but did not graduate.[3] After working in a variety of jobs, including for a family-owned sporting goods store,[3] Fireman acquired the North American sales rights to Reebok in 1979.[4] He later bought the British-based parent company in 1984.[3] Capitalizing on the increasing popularity of aerobics, particularly with women, Fireman grew the company and issued an IPO in 1985.[3] By visiting gyms and high schools across the country, Fireman conducted first-hand market research.[3] After the IPO, Fireman alternated between building a real estate empire and serving as the CEO of Reebok.[3] Fireman sold Reebok to Adidas in 2005 for $3.8 billion; Fireman himself made $800 million from the deal.[4] In 2009, Fireman founded Fireman Capital Partners, an investment firm.[4] Fireman Capital has bought major stakes in Newton Running, Hudson Jeans, and Evolution Fresh.[4]

Fireman paid $9 million at auction to buy Willowbend Golf Club, which he opened in 1992.[2] Fireman later opened several other golf clubs in Puerto Rico and several states.[2] In 2006, Fireman opened up the $250 million Liberty National Golf Club, which sits on a former Jersey City dump site.[5] In 2014, Fireman proposed a $4.6 billion dollar project on New Jersey's Gold Coast, which would include a 95-story tower with a casino and 100,000-seat motor sport stadium.[5] The New Jersey Constitution does not allow casinos outside of Atlantic City,[5] but Fireman has advocated holding a referendum to change the constitution.[6]

Other activities[edit]

In 2010, Fireman placed his Winecup-Gamble Ranch up for sale for $50 million.[7]

Campaign contributions[edit]

Fireman donated $250,000 to Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, but Fireman has also donated to Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and several other candidate and committees of both parties.[8] Fireman donated $1 million to the 2016 presidential campaign of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.[6]

In 2016, Firemen was an important backer of Public Question 1, a ballot measure that would amend New Jersey's constitution to allow casino Gambling in North Jersey.[9] After numerous polls showed that Question 1 had no chance to pass Fireman, along with Jeff Gural, pulled their financial support for the measure. Bill Cortese, the leader of Trenton's Bad Bet, a group opposed to the question, said, "Trenton's Bad Bet will not be distracted by billionaire developers throwing temper tantrums because they don't get what they want."[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The World's Billionaires: "Paul Fireman", Forbes.com; accessed June 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Rynecki, David (17 October 2005). "FIREMAN'S FANTASY". Fortune. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f AP (15 August 2005). "The Man Who Made Reebok Jump High". LA Times. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d Healy, Beth (10 June 2011). "Paul Fireman takes another shot". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Bagli, Charles (9 July 2014). "Reebok Founder Proposes 95-Story Tower With Casino for Jersey City". New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b Friedman, Matt (31 July 2015). "Billionaires, casino interests give to Christie super PAC". Politico. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  7. ^ Jackson, Candace (3 September 2010). "Paul Fireman's Nevada Ranch Lists for $50 Million". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Man who wants to build Jersey City casino is a big political donor: The Auditor". NJ.com. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
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