Dan Gilbert understands the harsh waters of business and entrepreneurship and has ridden the current to arrive at a place where he is a mainstay on Forbes list of World Richest People. The Michigan billionaire has many interests across industries, mainly in finance, investment and entertainment.
He has founded several ventures such as the mortgage lending company Quicken Loans Inc., and his portfolio company Rock Ventures LLC. Gilbert’s portfolio also includes sports franchises like NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League, and the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters. Apparently, the businessman sees something in Cleveland.
Dan Gilbert’s Bio
The billionaire was born and raised a Jewish in Detroit, Michigan, on January 17, 1962. There, he attended Southfield-Lathrup High School and moved on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. It was during this time that he got himself a license to operate as a real estate agent. After MSU, he started pursuing his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree at Wayne State University Law School, while at the same time working for his parents.
Dan Gilbert co-founded Rock Financial in 1985 with two of his friends and his younger brother. The company quickly grew into one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the country. In 2000, Rock Financial was purchased by software company Intuit Inc. and renamed to Quicken Loans. Gilbert stayed on as the CEO and banded with a small group of investors to repurchase his company in 2002. He continues to serve in the capacity of Chairman of the home loan company.
Dan Gilbert’s acquisition venture saw him delve into the world of sports. He bought the almost defunct Utah Grizzlies of the American Hockey League in 2007, moved it to Cleveland and later changed its name to Cleveland Monsters.
By this time, he was already a majority share owner of the NBA giant, the Cleveland Cavaliers, dating back to March 2005. He undertook an extensive overhaul of the team from coaching staff and players to front office staff. The overhaul worked as the Cavaliers have bagged six Central Division Championships since 2009 with the most recent coming in 2018, the fourth straight time they were clinching the Championship. They’ve also bagged five Eastern Conference Championships and one NBA championship.
The Cleveland Monsters also won the Calder Cup, which is American Hockey League’s top prize in 2016.
Dan Gilbert moved the New Mexico Thunderbirds from the G League to Canton, Ohio, in 2011, where he renamed the team to the Canton Charge and made them an affiliate team of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2012, he bought over the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League.
Dan Gilbert still has many other investments besides sports franchises. He owns Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC, a private equity firm with interests in various industries. He is also a chief investor of Courtside Ventures, and also a non-profit company, Bizdom, which he launched in 2007. Other companies in his portfolio include StockX, Horseshoe Cleveland, Greektown Superholdings Inc., and much more.
Dan Gilbert’s Family: Parents, Wife, and Son
Dan Gilbert’s parents are real estate agents. His foray into the world of real estate when he was in law school saw him work in his parents’ real estate company, Century 21 Real Estate Agency. Dan also has two step-siblings and a younger brother, Gary Gilbert who was a co-founder of Rock Financials in 1985.
Gilbert is married to Jennifer Gilbert and together, they have five kids. Gilbert is very fond of his kids and has often talked about how this stems from the fact that he was not close to his father. The business veteran is especially fond of his first child and son Nick Gilbert who was born with neurofibromatosis, a disorder in the body’s nervous system that causes tumours to grow anywhere on the body without warning.
Nick had to undergo frequent chemotherapy for about 15 years. The young man is also almost blind and has to be helped by a school disabilities specialist while he is studying at MSU.
Nick memorably stood in the place of his father for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2011 and 2013 NBA Drafts. He is studying business at the Michigan State Univesity Business School.
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Dan Gibert’s House
Gilbert has spent billions buying up, renovating and repurposing real estate in his home city of Detroit. He is also the highest employer of labour in the town besides the government. It is expected that whenever he is not out investing billions, he should have a place to rest his mind and recharge.
Dan Gilbert lives in the village of Franklin in Oakland County, Michigan. There, the billionaire has built himself a deserving mansion sitting on a few acres surrounded by lush greenery. Nothing much is known of the house except the fact that it is a massive 21-room mansion seated on 5 acres of land.
Dan Gilbert’s Height
For all the heights he has attained, the billionaire stands at a below average height of 5 feet 5 inches which translates to 1.67 meters.