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10 Things You Didn't Know about Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gores

Hard times in your earlier years can push you to decide that your future must be different and so you start working towards achieving that goal. Tom Gores was not born into a wealthy family, but his fortune changed the minute he decided to venture into business on his own. Learn more about him through these fascinating facts.

1. He bought a house for $100 million

Life has its weird sense of humor; someone out there has to work day and night to pay a rent of less than $1,000 while another person is spending millions of dollars to buy a house. The point is we cannot all be successful at the same time and Tom Gores' time came up early. In October 2016, he spent $100,000,000 to buy a 30,000 square foot mansion in Holmby Hills estate and according to TMZ Sports the property once belonged to Barbara Streisand. The purchase was not in cash entirely but involved trading in another 3.2-acre property in Bel Air.

2. One of his firms was implicated in an illegal scheme

Securus Technologies, a firm owned by Platinum Equity was a defendant in a lawsuit that accused the company of inflating the cost of telephone calls made by Massachusetts inmates. Allegedly the scheme involved the office of the Bristol County Sheriff in Massachusetts and Securus Technologies was being accused of bribery to get exclusive phone service contracts. A National Consumer Law Center staff attorney, Brian Highsmith, argued that the kickbacks were causing unnecessary hardships for the people who have no choice but to make calls; such people include the inmates, their lawyers, and inmates' families.

3. He acquired the Detroit Pistons as a community asset

Most people get into business to become rich, but others want to make a positive impact in society, and Tom Gores is among those selfless entrepreneurs. In an interview with Forbes, Tom revealed his reasons for purchasing the team after someone approached him. Although his portfolio did not involve sports teams, he looked critically at the deal and realized that although the Detroit Pistons had been losing their value, the other assets involved were too good to pass by so he acquired both Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment for $325 million. Tom aimed to make the community happy since he is from Detroit.

4. He met his wife at Continental Telephone

Tom graduated from high school in 1982 and enrolled at Michigan State University on a scholarship. He obtained his degree in Construction Management in 1986. Tom worked at Continental Telephone after graduating, and it was there that Tom met Holly, who would become his wife. Tom decided to take advantage of opportunities in the West Coast by moving to California so he asked Holly to go with him and she agreed, much to his surprise. Tom went on to marry Holly in 1995.

5. His real name is Tewfiq Georgious

Tom got his English names from his aunt. His family is an immigrant from Israel, and they moved to Detroit in 1969. When their aunt went to pick them up from the airport she instantly gave Tewfiq and his brother new names; Elias became Alec while Samir changed to Sam. The family was nearly broke and they had to live with their relatives in Flint. Matter of fact is their father had to balance his checkbook before buying anything to make sure that they stayed within their budget.

6. His daughters are founders of a non-profit organization

Sibling rivalry has been the subject of many discussions but people rarely talk of the love siblings share because what Catherina and Amanda did was purely out of love for their brother, Charles. Doctors diagnosed Charles with food allergies when he was one, and he had to resort to EpiPen which is the leading treatment for food allergies. Unfortunately, EpiPen is quite expensive, and the two girls decided to make the treatment more accessible to the less privileged families. Therefore in 2011, the Gores children began working on the founding of EpiPal, the nonprofit that would raise awareness of food allergies as well as money for those in need. By 2015, the organization had raised $800,000 and was advancing to Michigan. Catherina was so passionate about the initiative that she settled on studying business and nonprofits at the University of Southern California.

7. He had an affair with his brother's wife

Alec Gores, Lisa's husband, suspected that Lisa was having an affair with Tom Gores in December 2000. Alec then hired a private investigator, and Lisa confirmed that during her affair with Tom Gores, she thought she was being followed and called Tom to alert him of her suspicions after their rendezvous in Beverly Hills Hotel. The private investigator had tapped the phones of Tom and Lisa, and the conversation was therefore recorded leading to Alec putting his suspicions to rest. Lisa and Alec divorced in August 2001 as Fox News reported.

8. He founded Platinum Equity in 1995

Tom spent his early 20s learning everything about buyout business, and in 1995 he decided to fly on his own by establishing Platinum Equity. He was determined to make it despite being in debt; therefore he used the $200,000 he had to seek out those businesses that were neglected and buy them. By 2010, the firm ranked number 31 on Forbes list for Largest Private Companies; the next five years after its founding were spent acquiring 32 companies with $226 million and those buyouts resulted in $940 million profit.

9. He has a billionaire brother

Tom's brother Alec Gores is a billionaire by his own right too although the method of acquiring o wealth is similar to that of Tom; Alec earned his net worth of $2 billion by leveraging buyout of technology companies. He did this by founding The Gores Group in 1987 with the objective of buying, fixing and selling businesses.

10. Tom is bidding to buy Fox Sports Detroit

Tom is among two other bid contestants, Jim Pohlad, and Liberty Media, who are offering to buy FS Detroit and its sister regional networks. Tom is willing to pay as much as $10 billion for the acquisition which he is making through Platinum Equity.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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