Richard LeFrak

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Richard LeFrak
Born1945 (age 72–73)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materB.A. Amherst College
J.D. Columbia University
Net worthIncrease US$6.5 billion (October 2015)[1]
Spouse(s)Karen Tucker
ChildrenJames Tucker LeFrak
Harrison Tucker LeFrak
Parent(s)Samuel J. LeFrak
Ethel Stone

Richard S. LeFrak (born 1945) is an American businessman. He is chairman and CEO of LeFrak, a privately held, family-run company based in New York City that owns, develops, and manages real estate. He is one of the biggest landlords in the NY tri-state area.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

LeFrak was born in 1945 to a Jewish family[3] in New York City, one of four children of Ethel Stone and real estate developer Samuel J. LeFrak.[4][5] LeFrak received a B.A. and graduated cum laude from Amherst College. LeFrak also holds a J.D. from Columbia University. In 1998, LeFrak received an honorary doctorate degree from Amherst College.[6]


LeFrak joined his family's real estate firm, LeFrak, in 1968. In 1975 he was appointed president. In 2003, he was elected chairman and CEO following the death of his father, Samuel J. LeFrak.[6] In 1986 LeFrak and his father began building in Jersey City, New Jersey on the site of abandoned piers and rail yards. The area is now known as Newport, a 600-acre neighborhood with 8 office buildings, 13 apartment towers, 2 hotels, an urban beach, schools, a retail mall, and parks.[7][8]

LeFrak is also credited with leading the LeFrak organization’s expansion and diversification outside of the New York area. In 2008 the company purchased a 12-story office building on Hollywood Boulevard as well as a medical building in Beverly Hills, California.[9] In 2012 LeFrak purchased a stake in a South Beach, Miami luxury mixed-use property, including a hotel formerly known as the Gansevoort.[10] The project is expected to open in early 2014 as the eco-minded 1 Hotel Homes.[11][12]

LeFrak was ranked #16 on the Commercial Observer's Real Estate Power 100 in 2013,[13] # 20 in 2012,[14] #20 in 2011,[15] #10 in 2010,[16] #18 in 2009,[17] and #64 in 2008.[18]

Boards and accolades[edit]

LeFrak currently sits on the board of directors of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and is a member of the board of trustees of the American Museum of Natural History.[19] From 1995 to 2007, he was a board member of Smith & Wollensky. Previously, he served on the board of trustees of Amherst College and Trinity School; was a member of the New York State Banking Board; and served as director of BankUnited, Florida.[citation needed]


LeFrak presides over the Richard S. and Karen LeFrak Charitable Foundation, a private charity whose mission includes the support of charitable organizations.[20][21]


In 2017, St. Joseph's Chapel, the Catholic September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center, located in the Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City, was threatened with closure due to the St. Peter's parish's reluctance or inability to pay a tripling of its rent by a management company run by LeFrak corporation and partners.[22][23]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Karen Tucker,[24] a children's author.[25] They live in New York and Southampton. They have two sons:

  • James Tucker LeFrak (born 1973) - vice-chairman and managing director of LeFrak.[26] In 2009, he married Susan Caroline Bierbaum.[27]
  • Harrison Tucker LeFrak (born 1971) - vice-chairman and managing director of LeFrak.[28]


LeFrak has contributed to Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign.[29]


  1. ^ Forbes: The World's billionaires: Richard LeFrak October 2015
  2. ^ "Richard LeFrak - Forbes"
  3. ^ Jerusalem Post: "The world's 50 Richest Jews: 41-50 Richard LeFrak" July 9, 2012
  4. ^ New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths LEFRAK, SAMUEL J." April 18, 2003
  5. ^ New York Times: "Samuel J. LeFrak, Master of Mass Housing, Dies at 85" By ALAN S. OSER April 17, 2003
  6. ^ a b Amherst Magazine: "Three new trustees join Amherst College board " Fall 2005
  7. ^ New York Times: "Jersey City Development, Begun in ’86, Enters Final Phase" By Charles V. Bagli April 30, 2012
  8. ^ The Real Deal: "LeFrak, Christie open NJ waterfront park" By Adam Fusfeld May 3, 2012
  9. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek: "LeFraks' Sudden Craving For L.A. Real Estate" By Christopher Palmeri August 27, 2008
  10. ^ Hospitalitynet: "Gansevoort Miami SOuth Beach Purchased by Starwood Capital Group, LeFrak Organization and Invesco" February 2, 2012
  11. ^ Miami Herald: "Former Gansevoort to relaunch as eco-focused 1 Hotel" By Hannah Sampson February 7, 2013
  12. ^ One Hotels & Homes South Beach Website
  13. ^ Commercial Observer: "The Sixth Annual Power 100" Archived 2013-05-10 at the Wayback Machine. April 24, 2013
  14. ^ Commercial Observer: "The 2012 Real Estate Power 100" May 8, 2012
  15. ^ Commercial Observer: "The 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate" May 3, 2011
  16. ^ Commercial Observer: "Power 100: The Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate" May 11, 2010
  17. ^ Commercial Observer: "The Power 100: The Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate" June 3, 2009
  18. ^ Commercial Observer: "The 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate" May 14, 2008
  19. ^ American Museum of Natural History: "Board of Trustees" June 5, 2013
  20. ^ American Museum of Natural History: "Gift from LeFrak Charitable Foundation Supports NYC School Visits" October 5, 2012
  21. ^ New York Presbyterian: "$3 Million Gift Establishes LeFrak Center for Robotic Surgery" May 28, 2009
  22. ^ "Chapel that served 9/11 first responders could shutter", New York Post, April 9, 2017.
  23. ^ "Chapel That Survived Sept. 11 Attacks May Not Survive Rent Increase", New York Times, April 18, 2017.
  24. ^ New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths TUCKER, PAULINE" August 28, 2002
  25. ^ Karen LeFrak website retrieved April 30, 2012
  26. ^ Businessweek: James LeFrak retrieved December 31, 2012
  27. ^ New York Times: "Caroline Bierbaum, James LeFrak" October 16, 2009
  28. ^ Businessweek: Harrison LeFrak retrieved December 31, 2012
  29. ^ "Image# 201712119089169257". Federal Elections Commission. December 11, 2017. Retrieved May 21, 2018.