Jerry Reinsdorf is an American billionaire businessman and the owner of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and MLB’s Chicago White Sox. He started his professional life as a tax attorney with the Internal Revenue Service. He has been the owner of the White Sox and Bulls for over 35 years and is regarded as one of the most successful businessmen in America.
|Full Name||Jerry Michael Reinsdorf
|Date Of Birth||February 25, 1936
|Birth Place||Brooklyn, NY, USA|
|Parent(s)||Father - Max Reinsdorf, Mother - Marion Reinsdorf|
|Height||5 ft 6 inches (1.70m)|
|Wife(s)/Partner(s)||Martyl Rifkin (m 1956-2021)|
|Children||4 (Susan, David (deceased), Michael, Jonathan)|
|Net Worth||$1.7 billion|
Jerry Michael Reinsdorf was born in Brooklyn, New York, in a Jewish family on February 25, 1936. His father was a sewing machine salesman. Reinsdorf attended the Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn and was a huge baseball fan since his childhood. He earned a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in Washington D.C. and upon completion moved to Chicago in 1957 to become a lawyer. He gained a scholarship to study at the Northwestern University School of Law.
Jerry Reinsdorf’s first job after graduating from the university in 1960 was a tax delinquency case of Bill Veeck, the owner of the Major League Baseball team Chicago White Sox. A few years later in 1964, Reinsdorf went into private practice and worked to develop a speciality in real estate partnership tax shelters. He sold his business in the real estate partnership in 1973 and formed Balcor, which raised millions of dollars to invest in new constructions. After making profits, he sold his company to Shearson Lehman Brothers in 1982 for $102 million. Lehman Brothers were the banking and brokerage wing of American Express. Reinsdorf continued to be the President of the company for several years thereafter.
Reinsdorf made his initial fortune in real estate, cofounding Balcor Company in 1973 and selling it nine years later to American Express. He then used the revenue to buy the Chicago White Sox baseball team in 1981 for $19 million. A few years later in 1985, Jerry Reinsdorf bought Chicago Bulls for $9.2 million, one year after Michael Jordan signed for the team. It was just a matter of patience for Reinsdorf as the franchise values skyrocketed over the next three decades. Thirty-three years later, with six championships under their belt, the Chicago Bulls are worth more than $2.5 billion in 2021.
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After Jerry Reinsdorf acquired the team in 1981, Chicago White Sox made the playoffs in 1983 for the first time since 1959 and won the World Series in 2005 for the first time since 1917. As the owner and chairman of the Chicago Bulls since 1985, he oversaw the franchise turning into a lucrative business establishment that went on to win six NBA Championships in the 1990s. Jerry Reinsdorf moved the White Sox from Comiskey Park to New Comiskey Park in 1991. Since the early 1990s, he has been considered one of the most, if not the most, influential basketball owners and he has implemented revolutionary plans for success in both the sporting teams he owns.
In 2016, Reinsdorf was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor, for his dedication to the field and the dynamics he brought to the game.
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In 1956, Jerry Reinsdorf got married to Martyl Rifkin. She was born in Denver, Colorado. The couple had four children: Susan, David (deceased), Michael, and Jonathan. Martyl was an acclaimed fine arts creator of colourful Cloisonné jewellery. She designed five of the six Bulls NBA championship rings and also designed the White Sox World Series championship ring in 2005. She was notable for her humanitarian works and was called by children throughout the world as “Grandma Martyl,”. She mostly created and distributed over one million colouring books, crayons, markers, and toys to hospitals, orphanages, and shelters across the world, including to survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Martyl Reinsdorf passed away recently on June 28, 2021, after suffering a long-term illness.
Jerry Reinsdorf is well established as a billionaire and is regarded by most as a tycoon of the sports franchisee world for the past three decades. Coming from humble beginnings, Reinsdorf used his sharp brain and determination to achieve his dream. As of 2021, his net worth is estimated to be around $1.7 billion. He has investments in other businesses except for the Chicago sporting teams. He also serves on the executive council for the MLB.
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