Wynnewood, PA

The richest person in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

Luay Rahil

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​​They used to say, "The fastest way to become a millionaire is to become a billionaire and then buy a sports team."

That's not the case anymore. During the pandemic-impacted 2020 season, the average National Football team value increased 14% to $3.48 billion, the largest gain in five years. With lucrative recent media deals, unwavering brand loyalty, and the possibility of being a local hero, owning a sports team is a wise investment.

Last year, Philadelphia Eagles' value increased 12%, making it the 9th most valued team in the NFL and making its owner, Jeffrey Lurie, a very wealthy man. His net worth exceeds $3.5 billion, making him the richest person in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and the 6th richest in the state.

Who is Jeffrey Lurie?

Jeffrey Lurie is a successful businessman and the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Lurie was born in Boston on September 8, 1951. His grandfather, Philip Smith, founded the General Cinema movie theater chain in 1922. General Cinema became one of the biggest operators of drive-in movie theaters in the country.

His father, Morris Lurie, died in 1961 when Jeffrey was nine years old. This loss impacted Jeffrey's life tremendously. He was very close to his father, and sports was the central component of the relationship. His mother, Nancy Smith, did her best to keep the young Jeffrey focused on school and sports at the same time.

Jeffrey earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from Clark University, a master's degree, a master's degree in psychology from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in social policy from Brandeis University. After earning his Ph.D., he served as an assistant professor of social studies at Boston University. However, he left teaching to pursue his two passions, movies and sports.

After teaching, he worked in the family business, General Cinema, and became a liaison to the Hollywood studios. After learning about production, distribution, and finance, he left the company in 1985 to create Chestnut Hill Productions and produce his movies.

He became very successful in the movie industry, but he maintained his connection to sports. In the pre-satellite dish days, he used to drive hours to find any TV station that was airing the New England Patriots games. As a result, he pursued his ultimate goal of owning a sports franchise. He wanted to buy the Patriots but lost the bid to Bob Kraft, who purchased them for $175 million.

Lurie bought the Eagles in 1994.

Three months later, Lurie acquired the Eagles for $195 million on May 6, 1994.

"I do remember when I made the investment. I think the Wall Street Journal said this was the dumbest investment of the year. It was an emotional investment. It had no basis in reality. And the crazy thing is, I thought they were right."

Today the team is considered among the most distinguished franchises in professional sports. Under Lurie's leadership, the team has captured nine of their 11 all-time NFC East Championships and won a Superbowl in 2018.

He regrets not drafting Russell Wilson.

It is hard to have a lot of regrets when you are a billionaire; however, Lurie regrets not drafting Russell Wilson in the 2012 draft.

"Wilson is a player we didn't get, and I'll always regret it. It was someone I really wish we had drafted in the second round and didn't wait. But we really didn't think anyone would jump us and take Russell, so that was that.

Lurie uses his influence to talk about social issues very often.

Jeffrey Lurie uses his influence to promote charitable work for causes ranging from enhancing educational opportunities to police reform. In addition, he recently decided to use his passion to make movies to spotlight social justice issues.

"There's an opportunity in this polarized world to tell vital stories from a humanistic perspective and not a propagandistic perspective."

In 2018, the Eagles formed the Eagles Social Justice Fund to provide grants to communities that work to reduce barriers to equal opportunity, with a specific focus on education and police relations.

What do you think of Lurie's tenure as the Eagle's owner?

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