|Born||Rick Joseph Caruso
January 7, 1959
Los Angeles, California
|Alma mater||University of Southern California
Pepperdine University School of Law
|Net worth||US$3.5 billion (October 2015)|
Rick Joseph Caruso (born January 7, 1959) is an American billionaire businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder and chief executive officer of Caruso Affiliated, an American real-estate company. He has been president of the Los Angeles Police Commission and a member of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.
Early life and education
Caruso 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, and a law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 1983 as a Margaret Martin Block Scholar. In 1995, he was recognized as the Alumnus of the Year by Pepperdine School of Law.
Caruso was a real-estate lawyer in the corporate finance department at Finley Kumble, but in 1990, he quit law to develop retail and residential properties full-time. In 1987, he founded Caruso Affiliated, 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, 8500 Burton Way and the Waterside Marina Del Rey.
Caruso has lectured on real estate issues at the Kennedy School of Public Administration at Harvard University, the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Milken Institute Global Conference. Caruso participates annually as a guest panelist for the International Council of Shopping Centers.
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, becoming the youngest commissioner in the history of the city.
In August 2001, Caruso was appointed by Mayor James K. Hahn to the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and was elected its president. In this role, he led the selection process that resulted in the hiring of former New York City police chief 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.
In 2008, Caruso was elected to serve as a member of the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission, 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, and the replacement of the commission itself with a new governing body. He also advocated a ban on rave parties at the two venues.
Philanthropy and Awards
Caruso founded the Caruso Family Foundation, a foundation that is dedicated to supporting organizations that improve the lives of children in need of healthcare and education.
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. The pledge creates a new "ecosystem of opportunity" led by Operation Progress in collaboration with three area Catholic schools, South Central Scholars, Helping Young People Excel, and STRIVE.
Caruso serves on the board of Para Los Niños, a nonprofit family and child welfare agency in South Los Angeles. The organization dedicated its skid row facility as the Tina and Rick Caruso Child Development Center.
He is a trustee of the University of Southern California, is on the Pepperdine School of Law Board of Visitors and on the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. 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. 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, one of the nation’s largest and most highly ranked for research and treatment of diseases of the ear, nose and throat. He sits on the board of the National Institute of Transplantation and is on the Board of Saint John’s Hospital and The California Medical Center Foundation.
In 1995, Caruso was named Alumnus of the Year by Pepperdine School of Law.
He is married to Tina Caruso; the couple have four children.
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- Paul Pringle and Andrew Blankstein (September 29, 2011). "Developer Rick Caruso resigns from Coliseum Commission". Los Angeles Times.
- Dennis Romero (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.
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- "Rick Caruso to Receive the 2012 Ernst & Young LLP Master Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award for Greater Los Angeles". Reuters. May 11, 2012.
- James Rainey (November 6, 2013). "Foundation pledges $5 million for Watts social, educational programs". Los Angeles Times.
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- "Board of Trustees of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation". ReganFoundation.org. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- Dakota Smith (December 16, 2008). "Ground Blessing Takes Place for New USC Caruso Catholic Center". Curbed LA.
- Larry Gordon (December 9, 2012). "Lavish new church, meeting center to serve USC Catholics". Los Angeles Times.
- "Board of Directors". Transplantation.com. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- "Saint John's Health Center". Newstjohns.org. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
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- Deborah Crowe (May 11, 2012). "Caruso Named Ernst & Young LLP Master Entrepreneur of the Year". Los Angeles Business Journal.