Tilman J. Fertitta

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Tilman J. Fertitta
Born June 25, 1957 (1957-06-25) (age 58)
Galveston, Texas, U.S.
Residence Houston, Texas, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Chairman, CEO & sole owner Landry's, Inc.
Known for Restaurateur
Net worth IncreaseUS$2.6 billion (May 2015)[1]
Spouse(s) Paige Fertitta
Children 4

Tilman Joseph Fertitta (born June 25, 1957) is an American businessman, entrepreneur and the chairman, CEO and sole owner of Landry's, Inc., one of the nation’s largest restaurant corporations.[2][3] In 2013, his net worth was estimated at $2.4 billion, placing him at No. 235 on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans;[4] Forbes calls him the “World’s Richest Restaurateur”.[5] Fertitta is also chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System.[6]

Early life[edit]

Fertitta was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, several generations after his family had emigrated to Texas from Sicily.[7] Fertitta’s father Vic owned a seafood restaurant on Galveston Island, and after school, a young Tilman Fertitta would peel shrimp in his father’s restaurant.[8] Fertitta attended Texas Tech University and the University of Houston, studying business administration and hospitality management.[9]

His first entrepreneurial experience involved selling and promoting Shaklee vitamins.[10] In the 1980s, Fertitta founded and ran a construction and development business, and developed his first major project, the Key Largo Hotel in Galveston.[11][12]

Landry's, Inc.[edit]

Fertitta was a partner in the first Landry’s Restaurant, Landry’s Seafood, which opened its doors in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, in 1980.[13] A year later, Fertitta helped open Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks, a more upscale restaurant near Houston’s Uptown District.[14] In 1986, Fertitta gained controlling interests of both locations, and in 1988, became sole owner of Landry’s Restaurants. In 1993, Fertitta took Landry’s, Inc. Public company, and the company grew quickly, adding concept after concept.[15]

In 2010, Fertitta, who already owned the majority of Landry’s, Inc. stock, purchased all outstanding shares, becoming sole owner again. In 1993, the company was valued at approximately $30 million.[16] By 2011, the company’s value had skyrocketed to a value of more than $1.7 billion.[17] As of 2013, the company, under the leadership of Fertitta, owns and operates more than 500 restaurant, entertainment, gaming and hospitality locations. In total, Landry’s, Inc. employs more than 50,000 people and controls $3.2 billion in assets.[13][18]

Landry’s portfolio of concepts includes: The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casinos, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks, Saltgrass Steak House, Claim Jumper, Chart House, The Oceanaire, Mastro’s Restaurants, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse and many others.[19][20]

In 2004, Fertitta was elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame, becoming the second-youngest Texan to ever earn that distinction, behind only Michael Dell.[21][22]


On January 12, 2016, it was announced that Fertitta would star in his own reality tv show titled Billion Dollar Buyer on CNBC.[23] In the program, Fertitta is expected to explore small businesses across the United States and see how their companies fit in with his own Landry's, Inc. while also giving business advice. Billion Dollar Buyer is expected to premier on March 22, 2016 at 10 P.M. Eastern Time.

Fundraising and Public Service[edit]

Fertitta devotes a significant amount of his time to community service and support of charitable organizations around Houston. Throughout the year, Fertitta and his wife Paige host a wide variety of fundraising events and galas at their home.[24][25] Fertitta is actively involved with the Houston Children’s Charity, serving as Chairman of the Board. Every year, the Fertittas conduct a special fundraiser for the organization, called “A Gathering of Champions”.[26][27] The event is attended by well-known professional athletes from around Houston and across the nation.[28] Guests attend in casual attire.[28]

In 2009, Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed Fertitta to the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System.[29] In 2008, Fertitta was named chairperson of the Houston Police Department’s Police Foundation, supplying gear and equipment for Houston Police Officers.[30][31] He also serves on the Executive Committee for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.[32][33] Additionally, Fertitta is a board member for the following Houston-based organizations: Texas Heart Institute, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Greater Houston Partnership.[34][35]

Personal life[edit]

Fertitta and his wife Paige live in the River Oaks neighborhood of Houston with their children: Michael, Patrick, Blayne and Blake.[36]


  1. ^ Forbes: "The World's Billionaires - Tilman Fertitta" September 2013
  2. ^ "Welcome to Forbes". forbes.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  3. ^ Web design by Valiant Media - www.valiantmedia.com. "Landry's Inc. - The Leader in Dining, Hospitality and Entertainment". landrysinc.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  4. ^ "Gallery : #261 Forbes 400 Tilman Fertitta - Forbes.com". forbes.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  5. ^ "The World's Richest Restaurateur Has A Secret: It's Not About The Food - Forbes". forbes.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  6. ^ "University of Houston System". uhsa.uh.edu. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  7. ^ "Tilman Fertitta - Biography". 4-traders.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  8. ^ "Big Fish | Texas Monthly". texasmonthly.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  9. ^ "New UH System Board of Regents - Off Topic - HAIF - Houston's Leading News Forum". houstonarchitecture.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  10. ^ L.A. Lorek (May 2, 2004). "Landry CEO aims to build in Texas". Chicago Tribune. 
  11. ^ Robb Walsh (2006-10-23). "Fertitta's Dynasty of Dining | Houston Press". houstonpress.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  12. ^ Cartwright, G. (1998). Galveston: A History of the Island. TCU Press. p. 326. ISBN 9780875651903. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  13. ^ a b Web design by Valiant Media - www.valiantmedia.com. "Landry's Inc. - The Leader in Dining, Hospitality and Entertainment". landrysinc.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  14. ^ "Fertitta keeps strategy as he takes Landry's private - Houston Chronicle". chron.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  15. ^ "History of Landry's Restaurants, Inc. – FundingUniverse". fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  16. ^ "CEO Taking Landry's Private". upstart.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  17. ^ "Tilman Fertitta - Forbes". forbes.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  18. ^ "Tilman J. Fertitta: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  19. ^ Web design by Valiant Media - www.valiantmedia.com. "Landry's Inc. - The Leader in Dining, Hospitality and Entertainment". landrysinc.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  20. ^ "Morton's steakhouse chain sold to Landry's owner - Pacific Business News". bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  21. ^ "Fertitta headed to Texas Business Hall of Fame - Houston Business Journal". bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  22. ^ "University of Houston News: New UH System Board of Regents Officers, Student Regent Set for FY2013". uh.edu. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  23. ^ "Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta will star on primetime show". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  24. ^ "Tilman Fertitta, the entrepreneur and Police Foundation Chairman". thepolicenews.net. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  25. ^ "Houston Police Officers' Union | Tilman Fertitta Opens Back Yard to HPD and the Foundation". hpou.org. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  26. ^ http://www.houstonchildrenscharity.org/e_gathering.html
  27. ^ http://www.papercitymag.com/Parties/Archives/6490/2013-Houston-Children%26%2339%3Bs-Charity%26%2339%3Bs-%26%23quot%3BA-Gathering-of-Champions%26%23quot%3B-Fundraiser/
  28. ^ a b "Fertittas host Gathering of Champions - Houston Chronicle". chron.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  29. ^ "New UH System Regents appointed by Gov. Perry | UHCL The Signal". uhclthesignal.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  30. ^ "Houston Police Officers' Union | Foundation Highlighted by Fertitta, Bike Ride". hpou.org. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  31. ^ "Houston Police Officers' Union | HPOU.org". hpou.org. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  32. ^ "Committees". rodeohouston.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  33. ^ "New Officials Elected for 2014 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ - Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo". rodeohouston.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  34. ^ "Fertitta, Tilman J.". houstonpolicefoundation.org. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  35. ^ "Tilman J. Fertitta, Chairman of the Board - Houston Children’s Charity". houstonchildrenscharity.org. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  36. ^ "Paige and Tilman Fertitta open up their River Oaks mansion for Sant... - CultureMap Houston". houston.culturemap.com. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 

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