Share this @internewscast.com
Most sports fans tend to have the same dream at some point in their lives. We all wish that someday we could own our favorite team. How cool would it be to own an NFL franchise and get to call the shots, enjoy all the perks, and get great seats at every game? However, if we can’t own our favorite team, we would probably be okay with buying another, right? That’s pretty much what happened to Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, he grew up a Red Sox and Patriots fan. So when the Patriots went up for sale in 1993, he tried to buy the team, but his uncle shut the deal down when the bidding reached $150 million.
Lurie also tried to buy the Rams and toyed with the idea of being a part of the team to bid for the Baltimore expansion team. Lurie was determined to buy an NFL franchise and that finally happened in May 1994 when he bought the Philadelphia Eagles for $195 million. But how did he have that much money in the first place???
How Jeffrey Lurie Earned His Fortune
So, how did Jeffrey Lurie happen to have $195 million he could spend on a professional sports franchise?
Well, he did it the old fashioned way. He borrowed $190 million from the bank, but he and his mother used their stock in the family businesses as collateral. Lurie’s grandfather, Phillip Smith, founded the General Cinemas movie theater chain back in 1935. The family fortune really took off when the company began to evolve and expand in the 1960s. It was then that the company acquired the Pepsi bottling operation, and evolved into Harcourt General Inc., a multi-billion-dollar corporate conglomerate. At one time Harcourt General was the fourth largest movie theater chain in the country, owned several publishing houses, three insurance companies, a global consulting firm, and clothing retailer Carter Hawley Hale.
Lurie didn’t jump right into the family business at first, but became a professor after earning his PhD in social policy. In 1983, he quit teaching in order to join the family business, the General Cinema Corporation, which was headed by his Uncle Richard.
He attempted to go out on his own and founded a production company, Chestnut Hill Productions, in 1985. In 2011, the company won an Academy Award for the documentary, “Inside Job,” but other than that, their most memorable production was the 1991 Kathleen Turner movie, “V.I. Warshawski.”
Today the Eagles are worth $5 billion!