In the world of sports ownership, few names carry as much weight and intrigue as Josh Harris. As the new owner of the Washington Commanders, Harris, who's already renowned for owning the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils, stepped into the spotlight with his historic $6 billion purchase of the NFL franchise from Daniel Snyder in July. Now, having completed his first 100 days in NFL ownership, let's delve into the life, career, and achievements of the man at the helm of one of the most talked-about sports acquisitions in recent memory.

Who is Josh Harris?

Josh Harris is no ordinary billionaire; he's a multifaceted individual with a track record of success across various domains. An investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and sports team owner, Harris is considered one of the most accomplished figures in the world of private equity. He co-founded Apollo Global Management, a powerhouse in the investment world, which recently merged with Athene, further expanding his influence.

Harris's journey began in Chevy Chase, Maryland, but his educational pursuits took him to the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA. His early career included stints at investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert and the launch of his own firm, Apollo, in 1990, alongside former Drexel partners Leon Black and Marc Rowan. Notably, Tony Ressler, the owner of the Atlanta Hawks, is also a co-founder of Apollo.

Beyond his financial endeavors, Harris has served on the U.S. Olympic Committee and holds board memberships in institutions like Mount Sinai Hospital, Harvard Business School, Wharton School, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Harris's Impressive Net Worth

With a fortune estimated at $8.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Harris stands as one of the wealthiest individuals in the United States. His wealth, largely accrued through successful investments and private equity deals, places him in the upper echelons of financial success.

The Path to Riches

Harris's ascent to financial prominence traces back to the deals he orchestrated through Apollo Global Management. The firm now manages approximately $600 billion in assets, a testament to its growth under Harris's leadership. One of his most remarkable feats was cashing out on a private equity deal of historic proportions in 2008, with Apollo's investment in distressed debt of chemical company LyondellBasell yielding almost $10 billion in profit.

Apart from Apollo, Harris founded alternative asset firm 26North, which has more than $12 billion in assets. He transitioned away from his day-to-day role at Apollo in 2021 to focus on sports investments and philanthropy, while continuing to hold a board seat until last year. Furthermore, Harris is the force behind Harris Philanthropies, a nonprofit family foundation committed to youth and community development.

The Birth of Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment (HBSE)

Around 15 years ago, Harris joined forces with his friend and business partner, David Blitzer, a senior executive at the Blackstone Group. This collaboration led to the formation of Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment in 2017. Under HBSE, Harris owns the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL's New Jersey Devils, among other entities. Additionally, he and Blitzer are involved in Ripken Baseball and have a stake in the English Premier League club Crystal Palace.

HBSE extends its influence beyond the realm of sports, actively managing various real estate properties, including the Prudential Center in New Jersey and the Wollman Rink in Central Park. Notably, plans are in motion for a $1.3 billion arena for the 76ers, positioning Harris and HBSE to leave a lasting impact on the sports and entertainment landscape.

A Powerhouse Ownership Group

Josh Harris didn't embark on the Washington Commanders ownership journey alone. He partnered with a formidable group of individuals, including local billionaire Mitchell Rales, basketball legend Magic Johnson, and his longtime collaborator, David Blitzer. This ownership consortium boasts a diverse range of talent and expertise, with members such as Mark Ein, Eric Holoman, Lee Ainslie, Eric Schmidt, Marc Lipschultz, and the Santo Domingo family.

Notably, Harris holds a minority stake in NASCAR's Joe Gibbs Racing, with the legendary former Washington coach, Joe Gibbs, serving as an unofficial advisor to Harris and other key figures on the Commanders' senior leadership team.

Josh Harris's ascent to the pinnacle of NFL ownership is a testament to his remarkable career and financial acumen. With his diverse portfolio of sports teams and impressive philanthropic endeavors, he is set to leave a significant imprint on the world of sports and beyond.