Each year Forbes releases a report listing all the billionaires in the world. In 2021 there are currently 2,755 billionaires on Planet Earth. So it is a very exclusive club.
Of those 2,755, only one of them lives in Saddle River, New Jersey. So today, let's take a look at the lucky person living in Saddle River who can call themselves a billionaire.
The Saddle River, New Jersey billionaire
It will come as no surprise to Saddle River residents that the billionaire is none other than Rocco Commisso. Not only is he the only billionaire in Saddle River he also holds the title of the wealthiest person in New Jersey.
Rocco was born in Italy in 1949 before emigrating to the United States at the age of twelve. He attended Columbia University for his graduate degree before earning his MBA at Columbia University.
While many billionaires inherit wealth, Roccos' wealth has been built on the back of a lot of hard work. After arriving in the United States, his first job was playing the accordion during the intermission at movie theatres. His professional career started at Pfizer before moving to Chase Manhattan Bank and then the Royal Bank of Canada. Still, it was in the media industry where his career really took off.
From 1986 to 1995, he was Executive Vice President, chief financial officer, and Director of Cablevision Industries Corporation. Under his leadership, he took Cablevision Industries to the 8th largest cable company in the United States. In 1995 when Cablevision merged with Time Warner, Rocco decided to start his own media company- from his basement.
That company became Mediacom. After five years, Commisso took Mediacom public, during which time it had annual revenues of over $1.6 billion. In 2011, Rocco bought back his company and how owns 100% of it.
This ownership has contributed this his net worth value of $7.8 billion. Not bad for a migrant who learned to play soccer in Italy on cement with a ball made out of old rags and underwear.
Rocco is passionate about soccer. He was a good player himself, even trialing for the 1972 US Olympic team before being cut for being unfit. He was a three-time all Ivy League player for the Columbia Lions University team. The stadium at the university is now named after him in recognition of his considerable donations.
He is also the owner of the professional Major League soccer franchise, the New York Cosmos, as well as the Italian soccer club ACF Fiorentina.
" I'm not scared of anything. In the business world, it's like soccer. The game gets played over a long period of time. You've got time to make decisions" Rocco Commiso
The other billionaires in New Jersey
While Saddle River only has one billionaire, there are seven other billionaires that live in New Jersey. They include:
- John Overdeck who lives in Milburn. He has a net worth of $3.6 billion.
- Peter Kellogg lives in Short Hills and also has a net worth of $3.6 billion.
- Sheldon Lavin has a net worth of $3 billion and lives in Highland Park.
- Larry Robbins lives in Alpine and has a net worth of $1.9 billion.
- Duncan MacMillan, with a net worth of $1.5 billion and lives in Princeton.
- Michael Price from Far Hills is worth $1.2 billion.
Saddle River readers, have any of you met or worked for Rocco Commisso? Or had dealings with anyone on this list? What has your experience been like?
As always please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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