Thomas Anthony "Tony" Ryan (2 February 1936 – 3 October 2007) was an Irish billionaire, philanthropist and businessman.
|Died||3 October 2007 (aged 71)|
|Known for||Co-founder of Ryanair, Part Owner of Tiger Airways multimillionaire and benefactor|
|Net worth||Estimated at €800m–1bn|
|Children||3 (Declan, Shane and Cathal)|
Through his establishment of Guinness Peat Aviation in 1975 he began a course of events which ultimately lead to the development of the international aircraft leasing industry, although he is best known in the public mind as the founder of the eponymous Ryanair with Christopher Ryan and Liam Lonergan. Ryanair was believed to be the main source of his wealth in later life: the company is now one of the biggest airlines in Europe and is valued at over 15 billion Euros as of December 2019.
In 1975, with Aer Lingus and the Guinness Peat Group, he founded Guinness Peat Aviation (later GPA Group), an aircraft leasing company, with a $50,000 investment. GPA grew to be the world's biggest aircraft lessor, worth $4 billion at its peak. But its value dramatically collapsed in 1992 after the cancellation of its planned IPO. Ryan made €55m from the sale of AerFi (the successor to GPA) in 2000. Ryan was a tax exile who lived in Monte Carlo, but also owned a stud farm near his home in Dolla County Tipperary. He was the 7th wealthiest individual from Ireland in the Sunday Times Rich List 2007 with over €1.5bn(£1bn).
Ryan was an active and innovative funder of university education in Ireland. He donated a marine science institute to NUI Galway in 1993 which was named the Martin Ryan Marine Science Institute in honour of his father. He showed interest in marine science and aquaculture development in the west of Ireland. He also funded The Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship at the Citywest park, that is run by Dublin City University.
In 2001, Ryan acquired Castleton Farm near Lexington, Kentucky from the Van Lennep Family Trust. Ryan renamed it Castleton Lyons and undertook renovations to the property while returning to its original roots as a thoroughbred operation.
Ryan, who lived at Lyons Demesne in Ardclough, County Kildare, died on 3 October 2007, aged 71, following an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He had other homes in London, Castleton Lyons stud in Kentucky, Château Lascombes near Bordeaux and on Ibiza. His eldest son, Cathal, died just three months later, aged 48, after being diagnosed with cancer.
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- "Ryanair Holdings PLC". Bloomberg.
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- News, Bloomberg. "Tony Ryan, Who Founded Discount Airline, Dies at 71". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "Declan and Shane Ryan and family". The Sunday Times. 27 April 2008. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- Independent Woman. "Ireland's Rich List: 31–40". The Irish Independent.
- "Over €1m donated for marine and energy research". The Irish Times. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "About Us - Ryan Academy". Ryan Academy. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- Colley, Elaine. "Official Opening of the Tony Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship at the Citywest Business Park on Monday, 24 October, 2005". www.taoiseach.gov.ie. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "Castleton Lyons | Thoroughbred OwnerView – Thoroughbred Owners, Thoroughbred Trainers, Thoroughbred Partnerships, Thoroughbred Retirement". www.ownerview.com. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "Tiger Airways offers low-cost flights from Singapore". The Irish Times. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- Adeney, Martin (5 October 2007). "Obituary: Tony Ryan". the Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "1936 – Birth of Tony Ryan, aviation entrepreneur, in Co. Tipperary". Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "Cathal Ryan (48), son of Ryanair founder, passes away". The Irish Times. 12 December 2007.