Founder, Chairman, Equity Group Investments
In 1968, Sam Zell started Equity Group Investments, which today invests in industries like energy, logistics and healthcare. The forefather of modern real estate investment trusts, Zell chairs five public companies, including one of the nation’s largest residential REITs. His $39 billion sale of office REIT Equity Office to Blackstone just before the market crashed in 2007 was among the largest real estate deals ever. Around the same time, he led an $8.2 billion buyout of newspaper owner Tribune Company, which quickly went bankrupt.