Open main menu

Paul Fireman is an American businessman. He led Reebok to becoming one of the most popular shoe companies in the United States starting in the 1980s.

Paul Fireman
NationalityAmerican
OccupationReal Estate Developer
EmployerFireman Capital Partners
Net worthIncrease US$1.1 billion (August 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Phyllis[2]

CareerEdit

Fireman was born to a Jewish family[2] and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts where he attended Boston University, but did not graduate.[3] After working in a variety of jobs, including for a family-owned sporting goods store,[3] Fireman acquired the North American sales rights to Reebok in 1979.[4] He later bought the British-based parent company in 1984.[3] Capitalizing on the increasing popularity of aerobics, particularly with women, Fireman grew the company and issued an IPO in 1985.[3] By visiting gyms and high schools across the country, Fireman conducted first-hand market research.[3] After the IPO, Fireman alternated between building a real estate empire and serving as the CEO of Reebok.[3] Fireman sold Reebok to Adidas in 2005 for $3.8 billion; Fireman himself made $800 million from the deal.[4] In 2009, Fireman founded Fireman Capital Partners, an investment firm.[4] Fireman Capital has bought major stakes in Newton Running, Hudson Jeans, and Evolution Fresh.[4]

Fireman paid $9 million at auction to buy Willowbend Golf Club, which he opened in 1992.[2] Fireman later opened several other golf clubs in Puerto Rico and several states.[2] In 2006, Fireman opened up the $250 million Liberty National Golf Club, which sits on a former Jersey City dump site.[5] In 2014, Fireman proposed a $4.6 billion project on New Jersey's Gold Coast, which would include a 95-story tower with a casino and 100,000-seat motor sport stadium.[5] The New Jersey Constitution does not allow casinos outside of Atlantic City,[5] but Fireman has advocated holding a referendum to change the constitution.[6]

Other activitiesEdit

In 2010, Fireman placed his Winecup-Gamble Ranch up for sale for $50 million.[7]

Campaign contributionsEdit

Fireman donated $250,000 to Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, but Fireman has also donated to Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and several other candidate and committees of both parties.[8] Fireman donated $1 million to the 2016 presidential campaign of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.[6]

In 2016, Firemen was an important backer of Public Question 1, a ballot measure that would amend New Jersey's constitution to allow casino Gambling in North Jersey.[9] After numerous polls showed that Question 1 had no chance to pass Fireman, along with Jeff Gural, pulled their financial support for the measure. Bill Cortese, the leader of Trenton's Bad Bet, a group opposed to the question, said, "Trenton's Bad Bet will not be distracted by billionaire developers throwing temper tantrums because they don't get what they want."[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The World's Billionaires: "Paul Fireman", Forbes.com; accessed June 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Rynecki, David (17 October 2005). "FIREMAN'S FANTASY". Fortune. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f AP (15 August 2005). "The Man Who Made Reebok Jump High". LA Times. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d Healy, Beth (10 June 2011). "Paul Fireman takes another shot". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Bagli, Charles (9 July 2014). "Reebok Founder Proposes 95-Story Tower With Casino for Jersey City". New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b Friedman, Matt (31 July 2015). "Billionaires, casino interests give to Christie super PAC". Politico. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  7. ^ Jackson, Candace (3 September 2010). "Paul Fireman's Nevada Ranch Lists for $50 Million". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Man who wants to build Jersey City casino is a big political donor: The Auditor". NJ.com. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]