The Cavaliers were never considered a blockbuster basketball team—that is, until one Lebron James became one of the biggest names in basketball. Today, the Cavaliers have continued to be a contender team, and their successes in the last few years can be attributed to both the players and the management. Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has been in the forefront of any major developments and news involving his team. Gilbert was always popular for going head to head with his former NBA star, but there are plenty of other things about Gilbert that aren’t as popular in the media. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about this high-profile Cleveland Cavaliers owner.
1. He’s a billionaire.
This is probably to be expected given that he owns a highly profitable professional basketball team. But Gilbert is more than just a team owner. He’s a prolific businessman who’s got his hands in all sorts of ventures and markets. According to Forbes, Gilbert’s real time net worth is at $7.3 billion as of today. That’s an incredible achievement for any single person, no matter what his or her background may be.
2. He founded Quicken Loans.
When you think of money management and loans, Quicken is a name that you might easily come up with. Quicken Loans is a mortgage lender, but it’s also evolved its brand into various niches such as personal finance management. Gilbert is the founder of Quicken Loans. The company was founded back in 1984 as Rock Financial. In the 90s, the company put more efforts towards establishing its brand as more of an online mortgage lender.
3. He’s got the heart for Detroit.
Gilbert is a Detroit native, and you probably would’ve easily guessed that given how outspoken he has always been about his city. Detroit was hit hard during the most recent national economic recession, and the city lost many businesses and much hope. Since then, Gilbert has been vocal about his pledge to restore Detroit into its glorious days, and he’s managed to stay true to that pledge even to this day. This article from CNBC outlines how Gilbert’s put in over $2 billion of his personal money to revitalize the city he loves.
4. He’s a well-educated man.
Given how much he loves Detroit, it only makes sense that Gilbert would live majority of his life in Michigan. That’s a fact that’s often understated about this man. For higher education, Gilbert attended Michigan State University. He also attended the Wayne State University Law School, where he obtained his Juris Doctor degree. Gilbert didn’t pursue law after college, which is probably something we could all agree was the right path for him.
5. He’s always been in real estate.
According to this article from Dealpath, we probably have Gilbert to thank for putting Detroit back on the map again as one of the most visited cities in the US. We could probably thank Gilbert’s parents for being agents at a real estate agency, where Gilbert worked at while in college. During college, Gilbert even acquired his real estate license and learned a lot about the business. This is where Gilbert realized he could work rather than in practicing law. He found a huge potential in wealth building through mortgage loans this way. The rest is history.
6. He also sold pizza.
There aren’t a shortage of stories on how extremely wealthy businessmen today started off with humble beginnings. You can most definitely count Dan Gilbert among those self-made successes. Aside from working at his parents’ agency while attending college, Gilbert also sold pizzas on the side. Fact is he started Quicken Loans with $5,000 he made from money he saved from selling pizzas. If that’s not dedication to your vision, what else is?
7. He has a challenging family life.
Gilbert is most popular for his businesses and his efforts in Detroit. But not many people know about Dan Gilbert, the family man. Gilbert happens to have 5 children, and the oldest of them happens to have a serious neurological condition. According to this article, Gilbert’s oldest son Nick suffers from neurofibromatosis, which was diagnosed when he was only 15 months old. According to Nick, who is now about 22 years old, Dan Gilbert as a father is someone else entirely. Nick claims that his father is the best dad ever and is also his best friend.
8. He’s a busy man.
You could probably only imagine just how busy Dan Gilbert must be. Apart from having a wife and 5 children and owning the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gilbert is also doing so much work to rebuild Detroit. He’s also got his private equity group, which has big time investments in several businesses and industries. He co-founded StockX, launched a non-profit called Bizdom, and also built Bedrock Detroit from the ground up. This guy doesn’t stop and is constantly traveling for business.
9. He doesn’t sleep much.
Given that he’s a busy businessman, it’s easy to assume that he doesn’t sleep much. It’s true. Gilbert says he probably gets only 4 to 5 hours of sleep every night. However, it isn’t because he’s constantly on the go (even though he is). Most of Gilbert’s nights are spent reading and just thinking. If anything were constantly on the go in Gilbert’s life, it would probably be just his brain. He’s constantly conjuring up ways to make his businesses better, make Detroit better, and make himself better. That’s not a bad way to stay up at night, especially since he’s the type of guy that wakes up in the morning and does something about it.
10. He’s just like anyone else.
According to this article, Gilbert is just like you and me—except he’s got a fat wallet. He also needs time to relax, so he’ll spend some time by the water with his kids. He likes food just like the average person, but he doesn’t need anything fancy to satisfy him. A good steak with some potatoes would do the trick. He likes to travel, and he works out when he can to get rid of anxiety. He cooks eggs and wishes he could meet Albert Einstein. If he were alive, maybe Einstein would want to meet someone like Gilbert too.
Written by Garrett Parker
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