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10 Things You Didn't Know about David Adelman

David Adelman

David Adelman, also known as the real estate mogul, is an American business magnate. He is credited for his contribution to the transformation of students’ housing. Today, he serves as the current CEO of Campus Apartment and the chair and co-founder of FS Investments. As a renowned business magnate, there are several facts that you probably don’t know about the high-powered CEO.

10. He’s Jewish

David Adelman was born to a Jewish Family. His grandfather is Sam Wasserman, a renowned Holocaust survivor. David’s mom was born in West Germany. After the holocaust, reclamation camps were set for survivors. Her mom was born in one of those camps. Admittedly, the story still gives him nightmares. His grandfather was captured alongside his first wife and kids. His wife and kids were killed in the death camp while his grandfather managed to escape, but he would end up alone. He endured all these because of his strong willpower. So, his grandfather plans an escape and ends up as a freedom fighter. He’s shot while at it and taken to hospital. It’s there that he meets Adelman’s grandmother, and the two start dating. The grandmother gets pregnant and gives birth to Adelman’s mom in a concentration camp in West Germany. The family relocates to Israel immediately after the mom is born, and the rest is history.

9. Born on March 11th, 1972

David Adelman was born on March 11th, 1972. His life story starts from when he was a kid in Israel. He grew up learning the importance of hard work and self-worth. These two things contributed to his success today in a big way. Adelman wasn’t raised particularly religious. He practiced Judaism, but he didn’t dress up too often. However, as the years went by and things changed for him, he started becoming an active Jewish community member. As a result, he co-founded the Jewish Federation Real Estate (JFRE). He was also elected as the co-chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. He would be invited to join the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, where he ended up serving as the board’s chair not long after.

8. He’s a Risk Taker

The most successful people in the world are the risk-takers, and David Adelman is one of them: he took huge risks to get where he is today. But without taking these chances, his life would be completely different. He never had it easy, though. When he struggled to make ends meet, his mother told him that things always work out no matter how hard they get. But for this risk-taker, failure is just a step away from success. Speaking of which, he’s always trying his hand at something new. Some of the successful businesses he has set up include Campus Apartment, FS Investments, Pollen8, CampSport, and 606W Apartments, to name a few.

7. Got into Real Estate By Losing a Bet

David Adelman never had it easy in life, but he kept trying until his efforts paid off. He grew up with his family struggling to make ends meet, but all that changed when he discovered real estate at 13. At 13 years old, Adelman was playing basketball with a family friend, Alan Horwitz, an established real estate veteran in Philadelphia. Adelman thought he would win a basketball game against him. So, he staked a bet that he ended up losing. To get back his possessions (as he puts it), the two agreed that Adelman would be coming to the office every Saturday to sweep off sawdust and stack lumber. He did this until he eventually repaid off his debt and repossessed his bet.

6. Allan Horwitz Was His Mentor

You can’t be successful without good mentorship. David Adelman had his mentor who taught him about the world of real estate, business, and life in general. That mentor was Alan Horwitz. He made him gather sawdust, for example, for losing a bet which eventually led to building up his empire. During summer holidays and over the weekends, Adelman would visit Horwitz or one of his real estate assets, where he learned about business first hand. He also learned strategies on how to explore the market, marketing, and networking. Horwitz would then give Adelman his first job at one of his warehouses in back Philadelphia.

5. Purchased His First Real Estate Property at 17

After his first job, it didn’t take long for Adelman to get into the world of real estate in a big way. A 17, he would invest his bar mitzvah gift in a Philadelphia property, a company he still owns to date. Adelman says he never struggled understanding how the real estate business works. He sort of just grew into it. Despite his youth, he was able to comprehend things at a deeper level, so he wanted to do as much as possible.

4. He Owned FS Investments

Adelman’s first company was called FS Investments. It was focused on real estate development and management, with projects including the University City Science Center (a biotech hub). They also partnered with Radnor Property Group to develop Two Liberty Place (Pizza Hut Building).

3. He was the Lead Director of Wheels Up

In 2013, Adelman, alongside other Philadelphia investors, decided to invest $30 million into a private aviation company called Wheels Up. Kenny Dichter founded the company. Not long after, Adelman would become the company’s lead director until 2019, when Delta Airlines took the majority stakes into the company. They would merge the company with their Delta Jet subsidiary, and on January 5th, 2021, the company would acquire Mountain Aviation.

2. He Has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science

Adelman pursued political science at Ohio State University, graduating in 1994. While still on campus, he would work for Campus Apartments as a leasing agent and in the accounting office. After graduating, he would be accepted into the Temple University Beasley School of Law, where he was to pursue law. He never joined the university and instead chose to become a property manager at Campus Apartments.

1. Name the CEO of Campus Apartment in 1997

In 1997, at the age of 25, he was named the CEO of Campus Apartment. As the company CEO, Adelman’s first step would be to create a partnership between the company and the University of Pennsylvania. This partnership would see to it that off-campus apartments are renovated. As a result, students’ living standards significantly improved. Crime rates also dropped in the area. Under his guidance, Campus Apartment acquired more than $2 billion in assets.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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