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Rick Caruso

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Rick Caruso
Billy Crystal Chanukah (cropped).jpg
Caruso in 2018
Born
Rick Joseph Caruso

(1959-01-07) January 7, 1959 (age 63)
EducationUniversity of Southern California (BS)
Pepperdine University (JD)
OccupationReal estate businessman
Political partyDemocratic (2022–present)[1]
Other political
affiliations
Republican (before 2011)
Independent (2011–2022)
Spouse(s)Tina Caruso
Children4, including Justin
RelativesHenry Caruso (father)

Rick Joseph Caruso (born January 7, 1959)[2] is an American billionaire businessman.[3] He is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Caruso, an American real-estate company.[4][5] Currently serving as chair of the board of trustees at the University of Southern California, Caruso has been president of the Los Angeles Police Commission and a member of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. A former member of the Republican Party, Caruso changed his affiliation to the Democratic Party when he became a candidate in the 2022 Los Angeles mayoral election.[6]

Early life and education

Caruso was born in Los Angeles. His father, Henry Caruso, was the founder of Dollar Rent-A-Car and owner of many car dealerships in the Los Angeles area. His mother Gloria was a billboard model in her youth.[7] Rick received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California in 1980, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, the Trojan Knights and a J.D. degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 1983 as a Margaret Martin Block Scholar.[8][9][10] In 1995, he was recognized as the Alumnus of the Year by Pepperdine School of Law.[11]

Business career

Caruso was a real-estate lawyer in the corporate finance department at Finley Kumble,[12] but in 1990, he quit law to develop retail and residential properties full-time.[13][14]

In 1987, he founded Caruso, a company that develops, owns and manages properties such as The Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles, the Americana at Brand in Glendale, the Commons at Calabasas, the Promenade at Westlake, The Lakes at Thousands Oaks (leased from the City of Thousand Oaks),[15] 8500 Burton Way (Waterside Marina del Rey), Palisades Village in Pacific Palisades, and the Rosewood Miramar Beach in Santa Barbara.[4][12][16][17]

During his tenure as CEO of the company, the company was accused of engaging in practices designed to chill free speech over the rejection of an advertisement for a documentary about the Armenian Genocide by Caruso's mall, Americana at Brand (in Glendale, California) on two occasions, in 2015 and in 2017. While there were public protests about The Americana's decision, Caruso disputed the claims and affirmed his commitment to treating everyone fairly and with equal respect. The advert decision was later reversed.[18][19][20][21]

He has lectured on real estate issues at the Kennedy School of Public Administration at Harvard University,[22] the USC Price School of Public Policy[23] and the Milken Institute Global Conference.[24] Caruso participates annually as a guest panelist for the International Council of Shopping Centers.[25]

Politics and public service

In 1985, at the age of 26, Caruso was named by Mayor Tom Bradley to serve as a commissioner for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power,[26] becoming the youngest commissioner in the history of the city.[27][28]

In August 2001, Caruso was appointed by Mayor James K. Hahn to the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners[29] and was elected its president.[27] In this role, he led the selection process that resulted in the hiring of former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton as the Los Angeles Chief of Police. During Caruso's tenure as president of the Police Commission, the crime rate in Los Angeles dropped 37.3% from 2002 to 2006 a much smaller decrease during his 5 year tenure than the previous 5 years or the following 5 years after he left.[29][30]

In 2008, Caruso was elected to serve as a member of the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission,[28][31] which oversees the operations of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and nearby Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. During his tenure on the commission, Caruso advocated for its reform, including the resignation of its general manager,[32][33] and the replacement of the commission itself with a new governing body.[34] He advocated a ban on rave parties at the two venues.[35][36]

Political donations

In 2015, Caruso funded a voter initiative to bypass local planning laws and the California Environmental Quality Act in order to build an outdoor mall in Carlsbad, CA.[37] That initiative passed but a subsequent referendum overturned it and required a public vote – Measure A. The measure failed and the mall construction was blocked.[38] All together, Caruso spent $12 million in less than a year on getting the project approved.[38] This spending included television ads, mailers, and consulting services.[38]

In 2016, the L.A. Times reported that Caruso, his affiliates and family, had given more than $476,000 to L.A. city officials over the past five years; during this time Los Angeles City Hall approved numerous building projects.[39] In 2020, Caruso gave $2,800 to Win the Era, a Democratic super PAC started by Pete Buttigieg.[40]

Los Angeles mayoral campaign

Caruso floated the idea of running for mayor of Los Angeles in the 2009 and 2013 elections, though he ultimately did not run.[41][42]

In 2019, he expressed interest in running in the 2022 election.[43] This consideration was made public during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Caruso was chosen to assist the White House in facilitating America's future recovery from the disease. He gave multiple interviews during this time on prioritizing small businesses during the recovery.[44][45] Caruso launched his campaign for the 2022 election on February 11, 2022, the day before the filing deadline.[46]

Philanthropy

Caruso Family Foundation

Caruso founded the Caruso Family Foundation, which focuses on organizations that improve the lives of children in need of healthcare and education.[47][48]

In 2013, the Foundation pledged $5 million to Operation Progress, a Watts-based non-profit founded by Los Angeles Police Department officers, which will guide more than 200 students from elementary school through college graduation.[49]

In addition to USC and Pepperdine, Rick Caruso has made significant donations to Los Angeles academic institutions including Loyola High School and Brentwood School, which 3 of his children attended.[50][51][52][53][54]

Law schools

Caruso and his wife, Tina, established the Caruso Loan Forgiveness Fund which covers the law school loan payments for ten years for low-income and other underserved students.[55]

In October 2019, Caruso donated $50 million to Pepperdine School of Law, resulting in a name change to the Rick J. Caruso School of Law, in recognition of the gift. The gift is directed to historically underrepresented students as well as to students pursuing public interest law.[56]

University of Southern California

Caruso's daughter, Gianna "Gigi", was born with hearing loss and was treated at USC's Keck School of Medicine. In 2015, Caruso and his wife Tina donated a further $25 million to USC, to endow and name the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.[57][58]

The Caruso Catholic Center and Our Savior Parish Church on the USC campus was endowed by and named after Caruso following his contribution of $9 million.[59][60]

In 2018, Caruso was elected Chairman of the USC Board of Trustees and has since faced criticism for his handling of the George Tyndall USC sexual abuse scandal, in which a USC gynecologist spent 30 years molesting hundreds of patients, despite complaints dating back to 1991.[61][62][63][64] In May 2018, Caruso promised an independent investigation and an accompanying public report, but no report on the investigation has ever been made public.[65] Though the case was settled in March 2021 for $1.1 billion, Tyndall's victims' attorney John Manly continues to demand transparency from Caruso and USC, and a release of the investigation's findings.[66][67] On February 15, 2022, Caruso announced he will be stepping down from the USC Board of Trustees.[68]

Recognition

In 1995, Caruso was named Alumnus of the Year by Pepperdine School of Law.[13]

Caruso was named by the Los Angeles Business Journal as "Developer of the Year" and its 2012 Ernst & Young LLP Master Entrepreneur of the Year.[11][48][47]

Personal life

Rick Caruso and his wife, Tina, have four children: Alex, Gregory, Justin, and Gianna.[2] They live in the affluent Brentwood section of Los Angeles.[69] All four children have attended the University of Southern California, which their father attended and to which he has donated millions of dollars.[70] Caruso, through a trust, paid for a $4.4 million mansion in Pacific Palisades for his son Justin.[71] Caruso is a devout Catholic.[72]

References

  1. ^ Oreskes, Benjamin (January 24, 2022). "Rick Caruso Changes Registration to Democrat as He Weighs a Run for L.A. Mayor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Uribarri, Adrian G. (January 11, 2007). "Developer gets recognition for aid to children". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Clendenin, Jay L. (September 20, 2015). "Billionaire developer Rick Caruso, who owns -- among other things -- the Encino Marketplace, the Americana at Brand in Glendale, the Grove and Burton Place Retail Center in Los Angeles, may be one of the candidates in L.A.'s next mayoral election". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Rick J. Caruso, founder and CEO, Caruso Affiliated". Smart Business. July 1, 2012.
  5. ^ Martin Moodie. "Shilla/ARI bid for LAX duty free gets Rick Caruso endorsement". The Moodie Report. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  6. ^ "Rick Caruso | Presidential Search | USC". presidentialsearch.usc.edu.
  7. ^ "Gloria and Hank Caruso Had A Romance That Began Like A Scene From A Hollywood Movie". Los Angeles Times. December 3, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  8. ^ "Rick J. Caruso". USC Price. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  9. ^ "Distinguished Alumnus Rick J. Caruso Addresses Audience at 33rd Annual Associates Dinner". Pepperdine University. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  10. ^ "Admissions". Pepperdine University. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Executive Profile Rick J. Caruso". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  12. ^ a b Meinert, Maya. "Early Developer". LA Business Journal. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  13. ^ a b Moore, Annette (March 8, 2007). "Inside the world's biggest airline merger". USC News. University of Southern California. Archived from the original on August 26, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  14. ^ Morris Newman (November 10, 1998). "Commercial Real Estate: Developer Turns Shopping Malls Into Center of Attention". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 421342867.
  15. ^ Harris, Mike (December 1, 2021). "Divided Thousand Oaks City Council approves planned six-story apartment complex". Ventura County Star. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  16. ^ Vincent, Roger (March 3, 2019). "Grove builder Rick Caruso reimagines Miramar resort with splashes of seaside splendor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  17. ^ "Developer Rick Caruso goes small with new Pacific Palisades shopping district". Los Angeles Times. September 22, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
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  19. ^ "Protesters assemble at Americana after mall's handling of apparel referencing Armenian Genocide". Glendale News-Press. March 14, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  20. ^ Glendale City Council Public Hearing on Americana Genocide Denial, retrieved June 23, 2020
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  22. ^ "Caruso! Not the singing one. The talking one. Rick Caruso talks more LA". LA Times. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  23. ^ "USC 125th Commencement: Speakers at Satellite Ceremonies". University of Southern California. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
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  25. ^ "Saint John's Health Center". Newstjohns.org. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  26. ^ "The Linq: Retail Advisors" (PDF). Caesars Palace. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  27. ^ a b "Attorney Rick Caruso Unanimously Elected to Head Police Commission". Metnews.com. August 22, 2001. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  28. ^ a b Fleischer, Matthew (December 31, 2008). "The Caruso Factor". Los Angeles Business Journal.
  29. ^ a b "Hahn Picks Bratton to Lead Police Force". Los Angeles Times. October 3, 2002. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  30. ^ "Number of Reported Crimes and Crime Rates in Los Angeles County, California". www.laalmanac.com. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  31. ^ "Coliseum Commission". Lacoliseumlive.com. September 25, 1945. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  32. ^ Romero, Dennis (February 9, 2011). "Raves: Rick Caruso Calls for Resignation of Coliseum G.M. Patrick Lynch". LA Weekly.
  33. ^ "Caruso Calls for Resignation of Coliseum Executive Director". Business Wire. February 9, 2011.
  34. ^ Paul Pringle and Andrew Blankstein (September 29, 2011). "Developer Rick Caruso resigns from Coliseum Commission". Los Angeles Times.
  35. ^ Romero, Dennis (February 10, 2011). "Raves: Coliseum Commissioner Rick Caruso Says Rave Ban Back on the Table, Electric Daisy Carnival Still up in the Air". LA Weekly.
  36. ^ Romero, Dennis (January 5, 2011). "L.A. Coliseum Commissioner Rick Caruso Likely To Ask For Ban On Raves". LA Weekly.
  37. ^ Showley, Roger (August 30, 2015). "Caruso project: A model for speedy development?". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  38. ^ a b c Diehl, Phil (August 11, 2016). "New documents show more Caruso spending". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  39. ^ Zahniser, David (December 28, 2016). "Political donations flow as Rick Caruso seeks approval for a 20-story tower near the Beverly Center". L.A. Times. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  40. ^ The Real Deal - "Here are LA's real estate players who donated to Biden and Trump in 2020"
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  42. ^ Times, Kate Linthicum Kate Linthicum is a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times based in Mexico City David Zahniser David Zahniser covers Los Angeles City Hall for the Los Angeles (October 12, 2012). "Developer Caruso again decides to bow out of L.A. mayoral race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  43. ^ Blum, Steven (April 22, 2019). "Mall Mogul Rick Caruso Is Considering Running for Mayor".
  44. ^ "Los Angeles Developer Rick Caruso Shares Vision For Coronavirus Recovery". April 20, 2020.
  45. ^ "Small businesses should get head start on reopening: Caruso Group". CNBC. April 21, 2020.
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  48. ^ a b Crowe, Deborah (May 11, 2012). "Caruso Named Ernst & Young LLP Master Entrepreneur of the Year". Los Angeles Business Journal.
  49. ^ Rainey, James (November 6, 2013). "Foundation pledges $5 million for Watts social, educational programs". Los Angeles Times.
  50. ^ "Caruso Family Foundation". ProPublica.org. ProPublica. May 9, 2013.
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  52. ^ LaFuente, Cat (March 22, 2019). "The Untold Truth Of Gigi Caruso". TheList.com. TheList.com.
  53. ^ "BWS Magazine, Spring 2016". Issuu.com.
  54. ^ "BWS Magazine, Spring 2017". Issuu.com.
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  56. ^ "Pepperdine School of Law Announces Historic $50 Million Commitment by Alumnus Rick J. Caruso | Pepperdine University". www.pepperdine.edu. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  57. ^ "$25 million gift from Tina and Rick Caruso to endow head and neck department". USC News. University of Southern California. June 5, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  58. ^ Schmidt, Ingrid (March 13, 2019). "Lori Loughlin's Daughter Vacationed on Billionaire USC Official's Yacht". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 14, 2019. Born with hearing loss, Gigi Caruso was treated by doctors at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. In 2015, Rick and Tina Caruso donated $25 million to the school to endow and name it the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, known for research and treatment of ear, nose and throat diseases.
  59. ^ Smith, Dakota (December 16, 2008). "Ground Blessing Takes Place for New USC Caruso Catholic Center". Curbed LA.
  60. ^ Gordon, Larry (December 9, 2012). "Lavish new church, meeting center to serve USC Catholics". Los Angeles Times.
  61. ^ Ryan, Harriet; Hamilton, Matt (April 1, 2019). "How much of USC's sweeping sexual abuse investigation will stay secret?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  62. ^ Chi, Lucy; Nafziger, Audrey; Rowland, Allison (October 18, 2021). "USC and prosecutors owe the public a full account of sex abuse inquiries". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  63. ^ "USC Promised Transparency, So Why Is It Acting 'Like The Kremlin'?". LAist. August 19, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  64. ^ Hamilton, Matt; Ryan, Harriet (December 19, 2018). "Must Reads: How George Tyndall went from USC gynecologist to the center of LAPD's largest-ever sex abuse investigation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  65. ^ "Former USC campus gynecologist's accusers call for investigation of top university officials". Los Angeles Times. October 6, 2021. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  66. ^ Hamilton, Matt; Harriet, Ryan (March 25, 2021). "USC to pay $1.1 billion to settle decades of sex abuse claims against gynecologist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  67. ^ MANLY, STEWART & FINALDI PRESS CONFERENCE — Historic USC Settlement, retrieved February 18, 2022
  68. ^ "2/15- A Message from USC Board of Trustees Chair Rick J. Caruso". 2022. February 15, 2022. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  69. ^ "Forbes profile: Rick Caruso". Forbes. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  70. ^ Yakowicz, Will (March 15, 2019). "College Admissions: How Billionaires (Legally) Pump Millions Of Dollars Into Their Children's Schools". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  71. ^ Yakketyyak, Yolanda (June 26, 2018). "Justin Caruso gets a $4.5 million Palisades starter house". yolandaslittleblackbook.com. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  72. ^ "Rick Caruso's USC Mission Has Family Roots". Caruso. Retrieved May 14, 2022.