Knoxville, TN

The richest person in Knoxville is giving away millions

Ash Jurberg

To kick off 2023, I have been writing about people and organizations giving back to the community.

Readers enjoy seeing uplifting, positive stories. So today, I wanted to write about the richest person in Knoxville- Jimmy Haslam and the good he has done for Knoxville.

Let's take a quick look at his story.

The richest person in Knoxville

The richest person in Knoxville is Jimmy Haslam. He has a net worth of $4.9 billion.

Haslam was born in Knoxville in 1954 and attended the University of Tennessee. His father founded Pilot Flying J, a truck stop company, and Jimmy joined the board in 1975 when he was still a senior at the University of Tennessee.

At the time, Pilot had annual sales of $50 million.

Since then, Jimmy Haslam has progressed to CEO and Chairman and led the expansion of Pilot. The business now has over 900 locations across North America and earns around $30 billion in sales annually.

NFL followers will know that Haslam became the majority shareholder in the Cleveland Browns NFL team in 2012. He purchased his stake for $990 million, and the value of that ownership is now $1.2 billion.

His brother, Bill Haslam, is also well known across Tennessee as he served as Governor for eight years- from 2011 to 2019.


It is one thing to accumulate wealth; it is another to give back to your community.

Dee and Jimmy Haslam have started a foundation called Haslam Family. As they were both raised in Knoxville, they have donated significantly to their local community.

Their commitment is to help children and families reach their full potential by removing barriers and providing equal access to quality education and community resources. Since 2005, they have invested nearly $100 million in organizations serving families.

Some of their donations include:

  • $35 million to Knoxville's Lakeshore Park, to be used to improve baseball fields, soccer fields, and other amenities outlined in the park's master plan.
  • $5 million to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to renovate the Emergency Department at the hospital’s main campus on Clinch Avenue in downtown Knoxville
  • $40 million gift to the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • $1.3 million donation to Knox County Schools to support the marching band programs and academics at each of the district's 13 high schools.

Jimmy has also served on the boards of the United Way of Greater Knoxville, Lakeshore Park in Knoxville, and Knox Area Rescue Ministries.

Your thoughts

What do you think of the charitable work of the Haslams? What other organizations in Knoxville would you like to see them support?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and share this article with others so they can join the conversation.

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