Ziff brothers

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Dirk, Robert and Daniel Ziff, known as the Ziff brothers, are the sons of American publishing magnate William Bernard Ziff Jr. and Barbara Ingrid Beitz. They inherited the family fortune in 1994 and formed Ziff Brothers Investments.

Education and personal life[edit]

Dirk Ziff was born in 1965, Robert D. Ziff in 1967, and Daniel M. Ziff in 1973. Their father was the Jewish American media magnate William Bernard Ziff Jr. (1930–2006), who had built the Ziff Davis magazine empire that included titles such as Popular Aviation, PC Magazine, and Car and Driver.[1] Their mother was Barbara Ingrid Beitz, an ethnic German whose parents were awarded the "Righteous among the Nations" honorific by the State of Israel for providing refuge and risking their lives to save Jews during World War II.[2]

Dirk Ziff graduated in 1981 from the Trinity School in New York City, where his father served as trustee.[3] He later earned a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard.[1] He is married to former Forbes magazine reporter Natasha Bacigalupo.[4] The couple lives in North Palm Beach, Florida[5] and vacations at their Martha's Vineyard home. They have two children.

Robert Ziff studied undergraduate electrical and computer engineering at Harvard, graduating magna cum laude. He then attended Cornell Law School, where he graduated first in his class and was editor of the Cornell Law Review.[1][6] After law school, he clerked for Chief Judge Monroe G. McKay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Salt Lake City, Utah, and later served as vice president of strategic planning at Ziff Communications Company.[6] He is married to fellow Cornell graduate and attorney Michelle Angelic Locher. They live in Manhattan with their twin sons. He sits on the board of trustees at The Browning School attended by his son Jonathan.[6][7][8]

Daniel Ziff graduated in 1989 from the Trinity School in New York City,[3] and later earned a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University.[1] In 2009, he married Leslie Ziff, who serves on the boards of the American Ballet Theatre and Rosie's Theater Kids.[9][10] The couple later divorced, and Daniel married Brianne Garcia Ziff in 2017.[11] They live in New York City.[12]


The Ziff brothers inherited the family fortune in 1994 after their father sold 95% of Ziff Davis to Forstmann Little for $1.4 billion and retired. William Ziff Jr. had originally wanted to pass the company on to his sons but they were not interested.[13] Instead, they formed the Ziff Brothers Investments family office in New York City, investing their inheritances broadly across equities, debt, real estate, commodities, private equity and hedge funds. They also provided seed money to fund manager Daniel Och in exchange for a 10% stake in Och-Ziff Capital Management, which went public in 2007.[citation needed] Their investments greatly expanded the brothers' fortune.[5][12] As of March 2018 Forbes estimated their net worth to US$4.8 billion each.[14]

Philanthropy and political contributions[edit]

In 1998, Robert Ziff donated $2 million to the Harvard University men's hockey program.[15] In 2008, he established the Robert D. Ziff Professorship of Law at Cornell Law School.[16] He also made headlines in 2011 for his financial contributions to Republican legislators supportive of gay marriage.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d Fabrikant, Geraldine (June 11, 1994). "For Ziffs, Sale Is a Family Affair". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "The Righteous Among the Nations: Berthold and Elsa Beitz". Yad Vashem. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Paid Notice: Deaths ZIFF, WILLIAM". The New York Times. September 13, 2006.
  4. ^ DiGiacomo, Frank (February 22, 2009). "Sagaponack Saga: Guilt by Association; Studio 54, Where Are You?". The New York Observer.
  5. ^ a b "#422 Dirk Ziff". Forbes. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Kevin Clermont named First Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law". Cornell Law School. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  7. ^ "Profile Michelle Angelic Locher, Esq. New York, New York Office". Martindale.com. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  8. ^ "Cornell Law Alumni Forum" (PDF). Fall 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  9. ^ Wilson, Eric (February 8, 2012). "Moving Past 'Fierce'". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "Board of Trustees". American Ballet Theatre. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  11. ^ "Photos: Aspen Misc". The Aspen Times. November 25, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "#422 Daniel Ziff". Forbes. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  13. ^ Carmody, Deirdre (October 28, 1994). "Forstmann To Acquire Ziff-Davis". The New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  14. ^ "The World's Billionaires – 2018 Ranking". Forbes. March 6, 2018. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  15. ^ Iwanowski, Frank (November 11, 2017). "Robert D. Ziff Net Worth". Net Worth Post.
  16. ^ "Robert D. Ziff Professorship of Law". Cornell Law School. Retrieved May 30, 2012.