Executive Profile: Edward DeBartolo Jr

Edward DeBartolo Jr Net Worth:

3.3 Billion USD

Edward DeBartolo Jr. is well known in the business community as being one of the richest men in the United States. In 2009, Forbes Magazine listed him in the top 400 Richest Americans.

Early Career

Edward DeBartolo Jr. started his career with his father’s company, the Edward DeBartolo Corporation. The Corporation had its beginnings in real estate, mainly for commercial properties and shopping malls. At one point, the Edward DeBartolo Corporation owned and leased 2 billion square feet of property to commercial vendors.

The 49ers

With much of his wealth inherited and earned through his father’s corporation, DeBartolo invested in the National Football League team the San Francisco 49ers in 1977. The 49ers became the central part to Edward DeBartolo Jr.’s fortune and legacy. He owned the team for over 23 years and his finances and purchases helped bring in top players, coaches, and staff to the team. In those 23 years, the San Francisco 49ers won 5 Superbowl titles, becoming one of the best teams in football history. Even after most of the properties owned by the Edward DeBartolo Corporation were sold off in 1996 to the Simon Property Group, DeBartolo Jr. became synonymous with the 49ers.

The Controversy

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In the late 1990s, Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards was under investigation for corruption charges. The governor had ties to many financial firms and companies to try to attract businesses to Louisiana. However, Edwards used bribes and money laundering to get money to and from clients for favors. One of those favors belonged to Edward DeBartolo Jr. DeBartolo Jr. personally paid Edwards $400,000 so that Edwards could get a casino license in the state. This move tarnished the image of Edward DeBartolo Jr. and the National Football League suspended him from ownership duties for the 49ers in 2000. After this incident, he gave up his shares in the 49ers to his sister.

Post Controversy

After the scandal, however, Edward DeBartolo Jr. remained in the public limelight. He now owns about $1 billion in shares to the Simon Property Group, which owns most of the DeBartolo Corporation’s original property holdings. His latest investment is in DeBartolo Sports & Events, a marketing and consulting firm for sports entertainment clients. DeBartolo Jr. is also the owner of the Famous Famiglia pizza chains across the country. Edward DeBartolo Jr. makes annual donations to his alma mater, Notre Dame, where the school named its Performing Arts Center after him. Sadly, because of the housing crisis and the recession of the late 2000s, many of his shares in the Simon Property Group have gone down over the last three years. However, as of 2011, Edward DeBartolo Jr. still has a net worth of $1.2 billion.


As one can gather from his biography, Edward DeBartolo Jr. is a man with great potential and energy. His long term investment in his passion, the San Francisco 49ers, allowed his inherited wealth to sky rocket. However, bad dealings with politics to find a quick investment cost him much of his name. Still, even after such a public “downfall”, Edward DeBartolo Jr. remains one of the richest Americans.

Next, you should check out our latest post on how to become a billionaire.

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Brian Meiggs
Brian is the chief editor of Finance Write and is a personal finance expert who has spent the last few years writing about how Millennials can make smarter money moves. He has been quoted in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN Money, AOL, Discover Bank, GOBankingRates, Student Loan Hero, Fit Small Business, Cheapism, SmartAsset, Bankrate, RISE Credit, AllBusiness, Cheddar, Commonbond, Niche, Rewire, Credit Donkey, Debt.com, and more. He uses the free Personal Capital app to manage his cash flow and net worth.

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