Gary Winnick is an American billionaire businessman, industrialist, and investment banker who has been involved in various ventures in the fields of telecommunications, healthcare, gaming, and wireless spectrum. He is the chairman and CEO of Winnick & Company, a private equity firm that he founded in 1985. He is also the founder of Global Crossing, an early global fiber optic network company that filed for bankruptcy in 2002. His net worth is projected to be around $1.2 billion as of 2023.
Early Life and Education
Winnick was born on October 13, 1947 in New York City, U.S. He grew up in a Jewish family on Long Island, New York. His father owned a restaurant supply business in the greater New York Metropolitan Area. Winnick’s first business was a snow-removal operation when he was 12 years old, employing other children in his neighborhood to clear local roads and driveways. He attended public schools in Long Island and graduated from Roslyn High School in Roslyn, New York, in 1965. He then attended CW Post College, graduating in 1969 with a B.A. degree.
Career and Achievements
Winnick’s first job in financial services was as a bond salesman with Drexel Burnham Lambert. In 1978, he joined the staff of Michael Milken at Drexel’s high-yield bond operation in California. He worked as a senior vice president and helped provide initial capital and mid-cap financing to new U.S. companies in the fields of telecommunications, healthcare and gaming. He also proposed the design of the California unit’s X-shaped trading desk in Beverly Hills.
In 1985, Winnick founded Pacific Capital Group, a private equity firm that later became Winnick & Company. The firm invests in various sectors such as technology, media, entertainment, real estate, energy, and healthcare. Some of the notable investments made by Winnick & Company include Sirius XM Radio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Napster, Playboy Enterprises, and American Media.
Winnick and the AFL-CIO partnered in 1996 to recover the Playa Vista development, a sizable planned community to be built on the Los Angeles coastline Westside of Los Angeles.
In 1998, Winnick founded Global Crossing, an early global fiber optic network company that by 1999 was valued at $20 billion dollars. The company owned and managed a network of fiber optics in more than 50 countries and connections to more than 70 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2002 amid allegations of accounting fraud and other financial irregularities. Winnick was not charged in relation to the bankruptcy. But he settled a lawsuit related to the case for $55 million without admitting guilt.
Gary Winnick Net Worth
He is also the chairman and CEO of Winnick & Company, a private equity firm that he established in 1985. Gary Winnick Net Worth of $1.2 billion as of 2023. In 2020, Winnick founded WCO Spectrum, a company that invests in wireless spectrum licenses in the United States. The company aims to provide high-speed broadband services to rural areas and underserved markets.
Personal Life and Philanthropy
Winnick is married to Karen Winnick, an author and illustrator of children’s books. They have three children and live in Los Angeles, California. Winnick is also an avid art collector and owns works by Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and others.
Winnick is also known for his philanthropic activities and has donated millions of dollars to various causes such as education, health care, arts and culture, Jewish community, environmental protection, and disaster relief. Some of the organizations that have benefited from his generosity include the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the University of Southern California (USC), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC), the American Red Cross (ARC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and others.
Gary Winnick is an American billionaire businessman who has founded and invested in several companies in different sectors. He is best known for creating Global Crossing, an early global fiber optic network company that went bankrupt in 2002. Gary Winnick is married to Karen Winnick and has three children. He is also a philanthropist who has donated millions of dollars to various causes around the world.