Chicago, IL

The third richest person in Illinois

Luay Rahil
Photo: Canva

Chicago Police officers framed a young African-American kid for a robbery they knew he didn't commit.

His friend, Neil Bluhm, asked his mother to take him to every court date to support his friend. At the end of the trial, a talented lawyer proved the young kid's innocence. This experience transformed Bluhm's life, so he became a lawyer.

Bluhm's desire to make the world a better place made him one of the wealthiest people in the country. His wealth exceeds $5.6 billion, making him the third richest person in Illinois.

Who is Neil Bluhm?

Neil Bluhm is a billionaire real estate and casino tycoon.

In 1938, Neil was born to a Jewish family in Chicago. Bluhm overcame considerable adversity early in his life on his way to accumulate a massive amount of wealth. His father left when he was 13, so his mother worked hard to provide for the family.

His mother didn't have many financial resources, but she taught young Bluhm the value of hard work.

He is an accountant with a law degree, a powerful combination.

In 1959, Neil Bluhm graduated from the University of Illinois with an accounting degree. Soon after, he earned his CPA. Then, in 1962, and attended Northwestern University and earned his law degree.

Armed with his law degree, he joined a prestigious Chicago Law firm, May, Brown, and Platt, as their tax attorney, where he earned a partnership with the firm at age 31.

He quit a good job to create a great real estate business.

In 1969, his two friends, Robert Judelson and Judd Malkin convinced him to join them and build JMP Realty, focused on acquiring and selling real estate investments.

The three partners loved to take calculated risks, so they focused on high-quality properties so they shield themselves from any economic downturn.

Neil Bluhm exhibited a high tolerance for uncertainty and high risk. These characteristics made him an ideal business executive who takes a long-term view of all his investments.

Through acquisitions, the Chicago natives have transformed JMP into the nation's biggest non-institutional manager of real estate assets and one of the biggest developers.

He owns casinos and sports teams.

In 2005, Neil Bluhm purchased the former Jack Frost sugar refinery parcel on the Delaware River waterfront for its proposed $450 million Casino.

Today, the company has many famous landmarks in Chicago properties like 900 North Michigan and the Ritz Carlton. They also own several casinos in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Schenectady, New York.

According to Forbes, He also owns a minority stake in the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox.

He gives money to causes that he cares about.

Neil Bluhm created The Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation in 2007.

The foundation's mission is to support hospitals and organizations involved with arts and culture, human services, higher education, Judaism, and voluntarism.

In 2005, he donated $10 million to the Northwestern Cardiovascular Institute, and in 2018, Bluhm donated $15 million to Northwestern University, where he studied law.

He also donated to many organizations such as the Jewish Federation of North America, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Jewish United Fund.

He is divorced, lives in Chicago, and has three children.

If you had Neil Bluhm's money, what causes would you support?

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