Donald Soffer Biography & Net Worth
|Popular Name:||Donald Soffer|
|Real Name:||Donald Morley Soffer|
|Birth Date:||September 20, 1932|
Duquesne, Pennsylvania, United States
|Spouse(s):||5, including Carol Miller, Patricia Jo Hogue, and Marjorie Wallace. Currently married to Michele King|
|Profession:||Businessman, Real Estate Developer, Investor, Philanthropist|
|Net Worth:||$1 Billion|
Donald Soffer is a successful businessman from the United States of America. Born and brought up in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, Soffer is a graduate of economics from Brandeis University. He was known for his prowess in playing football while studying at the university. Instead of pursuing a career in professional football with the San Francisco 49ers, he decided to go into real estate development. In 1955, he constructed a two-storey shopping center in Pittsburgh and later developed it to become the first indoor shopping mall in Pittsburgh. Starting from 1969 until 1980, he was able to build five major shopping centers in various parts of the country. He also developed the Greater Pittsburgh Merchandise Mart and Exposition Center which is currently the largest convention center set between New York and Chicago. Within forty years, Mr. Soffer was able to transform fallow lands into thousands of office complexes and residential units. He is also the man behind the building of The Aventura Mall and Turnberry Isle in Miami. He developed Florida swampland into what became the city of Aventura, Florida, a self-contained city that features golf courses, lakes, bike and exercise paths, as well as shopping centers, hotels, banks, exclusive condoes, and office buildings.
Early Life: Childhood, Education
Popularly known for being a businessman, investor, and philanthropist, Mr. Donald Soffer was born on September 20, 1932, to a Jewish family in Duquesne, Pennsylvania. The son of Ida Kessler and Harold Soffer, he grew up learning the ways of business from his father who owned a Studebaker car dealership and also sold appliances. His uncle was Joseph Soffer, the businessman who established the real estate development company, the Soffer Organization, based in Pittsburg.
In 1955, Don, who had earlier won a football scholarship, graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in economics.
Professional Life: Business Career
After school, Don Soffer returned to Pittsburgh and developed shopping malls for Don Mark Realty, a conglomerate founded by his father, Edward J. Lewis, Lewis’ brother-in-law, Mark Mason, and Lewis’s father, Eugene Lebowitz. Don Mark Realty was later renamed the Oxford Development Company. In 1965, the company built what was Pittsburgh’s first indoor mall, the South Hills Village. Two years later, Don Mark Realty received funding from the John Hancock Life Insurance Company and partnered with the Arlen Realty and Development Corporation to establish the DonArl Partnership, and purchase 785 acres of land in South Florida for $6 million. Donald was given the primary responsibility of developing the project. Originally named Turnberry, he renamed the site, mostly swamplands, to Aventura (Spanish for adventure) and set out to build an exotic development centered around the Turnberry Country Club.
Donald’s father died in 1972 leaving the family interest in DonArl to him. He formed Turnberry Associates with a portion of his shares received after the partnership with Arlen Realty was dissolved in 1977.
Turnberry Isle Resort quickly became the playground for the rich and prominent people in the US. His son Jeffrey joined the firm in 1987, and the following year Jackie, his daughter, joined as well.
In 2005, Turnberry Associates acquired the Fontainebleau Hotel from Stephen Muss for $165 million.
Personal Life: Relationships, Children, Personal Interests
Mr. Soffer has been married five times in his life. He is a father of seven children, including Marsha Fine Soffer Rappaport, Jill Fine Soffer, Jacqueline Soffer, Jeffrey Miller Soffer, Brooke Soffer Perez, Abigail Soffer, and Rock Soffer. His ex-wives are Carol Miller, Patricia Jo Hogue, and Marjorie Wallace. In 2013, he married his fifth wife, Michele King.
Soffer’s son, Jeffrey, holds an executive position at Turnberry, and was married to supermodel Elle Macpherson. His daughter, Jackie, is the chief executive officer of Turnberry and is married to real estate developer Craig Robins. Another of his daughter, Brooke Soffer, is an investor who operates various stores in the Aventura Mall. His youngest child, Rock, is also active in the family business.
In 2008, he made a $15 million donation to Brandeis University. It still is the largest gift in the college’s history to date. The Don Soffer Aventura Charter High School is named after him in recognition of his remarkable contributions to the school.
Don Soffer Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets
Mr. Donald Soffer’s net worth is more than 1 billion dollars as of today. He is successful as a real estate developer and businessman. His wealth mainly comes from the Turnberry Company, which he founded and controlled for many years before relinquishing power to his children. Through his profession, he has developed many noteworthy structures over the years, including his first two-storey shopping center in 1955 in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s first indoor shopping mall, the largest convention center between the commercial hubs of New York and Chicago, and a vast marshland in Florida which he purchased in a gamble and it went on to prove highly lucrative.