Robert Kraft is a Massachusetts-born businessman who has a net worth of $7 billion. Robert Kraft made his fortune as Chairman and CEO of Kraft Group, which owns everything from paper to real estate. He is best known as the principal owner of the New England Patriots, New England Revolution and Gillette Stadium.
Robert Kraft : Early Life
Robert K. Kraft was born on June 5, 1941 in Brookline, Massachusetts, to Sarah and Harry Kraft. He grew up in a modern working-class Orthodox Jewish household. In 1959 he graduated from Brookline High School and served as senior class president.
Kraft attended Columbia University, where he again served as class president. He was also a member of the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity and played on the school’s freshman and lightweight soccer teams. Craft graduated from Columbia University in 1963, attended Harvard University, and graduated from got an MBA.
Robert Kraft : Paper Wealth
When Kraft was 27 and fresh out of Harvard, he was elected chairman of the Newton Democratic City Committee. He briefly considered running for a seat in Massachusetts’ third congressional district in 1970, but ultimately decided against it, concerned about the strain on his family and lack of privacy. Kraft’s first work experience was at the Rand Whitney Group, a packaging company run by his father-in-law Jacob Hyatt.
In 1968, Kraft launched his buyout leveraged to gain control of the company. He remains Chairman of the Rand Whitney Group. In 1972 Kraft founded International Forest Products, a distributor of physical paper furnishings. The two paper and packaging companies are the largest privately held companies in this industry in the United States.
Kraft was also an investor in New England Television Corporation, where he controlled WNAC-TV in 1982. In 1983 he became a director. The broadcaster he became WNEV-TV and in 1986 he was appointed president of the company. In 1991, he exercised an option to sell his shares for his $25 million. Kraft also acquired several Boston radio stations. Finally, in 1998, he founded Kraft Group, a paper company with operations in 90 countries and sales of over $2 billion.
Robert Kraft : New England Patriots
Robert Kraft has been a Patriots fan since the American Football League and a season ticket holder since 1971. In 1985, he purchased land next to the New England Patriots Stadium. It was the first in a series of moves in what appears to be Kraft’s master plan to own the New England Patriots.
Step 2 was his 1988 start, with Kraft outperforming many of its competitors at the stadium and filed in bankruptcy court for $25 million. As a condition of the purchase, Kraft leased the stadium to the Patriots. This point is very important as it is an integral part of Craft’s master plan to eventually acquire the team.
At the time, rumors swirled around Boston that the Patriots were relocating to St. Louis, and I knew that then-owner James Orthwain wanted the NFL to return to his hometown. St. Louis has not had an NFL franchise since 1988, when the Cardinals moved to Arizona. He chose a new name for the team, St. Louis His Stallions. Only he had one problem. In order to leave Massachusetts, Robert Kraft had to agree for the team to buy out the remainder of the stadium’s lease term.
Robert Kraft : Marriage And Children.
In February 1962, he met Myra Hyatt at a deli in Boston. They married her in June 1963. The couple had his four sons Jonathan, Daniel, Joshua and David. The Craft family was a member of the Temple His Emmanual in Newton, Massachusetts. Myra Her Kraft died on July 20, 2011 from ovarian cancer. She was 68 years old.
In June 2012, Kraft began dating actress Ricky Noel Lander, who is 39 years his junior. Lander gave birth to her child in the fall of 2017. There was speculation that Kraft was the father, but he denied being the father of the child when his birth was announced in May 2018. Kraft and Lander split in 2018.
Robert Kraft : Controversy
On February 22, 2019, Kraft was indicted by the Jupiter, Fla., Police Chief for “inciting prostitution.” This charge is attributed to Orchids of Asia Day’s trafficking activities at his spa. Investigators suspect the spa manager was a sex trafficking woman and she coerced the woman into performing sexual acts on her customers.
The act is said to have been captured on video. On March 19, 2019, Kraft was offered a plea bargain, which he turned down as he would have to plead guilty. On March 26, his attorneys filed legal documents in which Kraft pleaded not guilty to all charges and called for a jury trial.
It ruled that Kraft’s constitutional rights were violated when police seized a videotape of them allegedly having sex. The court has barred prosecutors from using the alleged video in court. On September 24, 2020, all charges against Kraft were dropped due to lack of evidence.
Robert Kraft : Real Estate
In 2010, Kraft and his wife, Myra, sold their 7,500-square-foot Cape Cod home to their son, Jonathan, for $3.8 million. This house was built in 2006 by him and has 7 bedrooms and his 6 baths.
Robert Kraft : Interesting Facts
- Robert Kraft bought the New England Patriots for $172 million in 1994; the team is now worth about $5 billion and has won six Super Bowl rings.
- Kraft, who sold newspapers outside the old Braves Stadium in Boston as a kid, made an early fortune in paper and packaging.
- Today his sports portfolio also includes the New England Revolution MLS club.
- He started a professional videogaming team in Boston, part of the Overwatch esports league, in 2017.
- He pledged $20 million in 2019 to fight hate crimes and antisemitism in the wake of the Tree of Life shooting in 2018.