Carl Icahn: Outspoken, but Never Outclassed
Locking horns with high-profile CEOs and corporate boards
Credited as one of the inspirations for the Gordon Gecko character in the 1987 film Wall Street, New York City’s own Carl Celian Icahn has made his mark in manifold fields: finance, public policy, education, and philanthropy all bear the imprint of Mr. Icahn. Frequently seen in the media, Carl Icahn has much to say – but also has plenty of experience and know-how to back it up.
Born in 1936, Carl Icahn graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy in 1957. He began his career on Wall Street as a stockbroker in
That firm eventually morphed into Icahn Enterprises L.P., a Delaware-based master limited partnership. Mr. Icahn’s firm operates as a diversified holding company engaged in multiple business segments, including the automotive, energy, mining, food packaging, metals, real estate, and home fashion sectors.
It was after his hostile takeover of Trans World Airlines in 1985 that Carl Icahn garnered a reputation as a “corporate raider.” At one point or another in during his career, Mr. Icahn has owned controlling positions in, among others, Nabisco, Texaco, Blockbuster, Marvel Comics, Revlon, Time Warner, Herbalife, Netflix, and Motorola.
None of these “raids” came without resistance, but throughout all of it, Carl Icahn went on to become one of the world’s most well-known and influential investors. He even served as the Special Advisor to the President on Regulatory Reform briefly in 2017.
Today, Mr. Icahn manages $33.4 billion through Icahn Enterprises and his personal net worth is ~$17 billion. Many of his former takeover targets have flourished financially – and just as importantly, have undergone much-needed reforms.
Proving that he’s not just about raids and shakeups, Carl Icahn has donated to numerous charitable organizations with interests focusing primarily on medicine, education, and child welfare. In 2012, in recognition of his gift of $200 million, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine
An advocate for the marginalized and disenfranchised, Carl Icahn funded the construction of Icahn House, a 65-unit complex for homeless families in The Bronx. Established through The Children’s Rescue Fund, Icahn House was created to serve single pregnant women and single women with children.
Outspoken, aggressive, relentless... Some very strong words have been used to describe Carl Icahn. Call him what you will – this “corporate raider” has been, and is still, in a class of his own.