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Frederick W. Smith Net Worth, Biography & Wiki 2017
Frederick Wallace Smith was born on 11 August 1944, in Marks, Mississippi USA, to parents Sally and James Frederick Smith. He is an entrepreneur best known as the owner of the global delivery services company FedEx.
A famous businessman, how rich is Fred Smith? Smith is a billionaire whose net worth reaches $4.7 billion, as reported by sources in early 2016. His successful business ventures have enabled him to amass this incredible wealth; Smith was ranked as 171 on Forbes 400 list, and 144 on the list of billionaires in the US in 2015.
Fred Smith Net Worth $4.7 Billion
Smith’s father, who also went by the name of Fred Smith, was a self-made millionaire, the owner of the restaurant chain Toddle House and the Smith Motor Coach Company, which later became part of the Greyhound Bus Lines company. He died when Fred Smith junior was four years old and the boy was raised by his mother in Memphis, Tennessee where he attended the private Presbyterian Day School. He had struggled with hips arthritis until he was 10 years old, but upon growing out of the disease, Smith became a successful football player, and developed a great passion for flying, soon turning into a skilled amateur pilot. Upon matriculating from Memphis University School, he enrolled at Yale University in 1962, studying economics. While there, Smith wrote a paper which outlined his idea for a company offering overnight package delivery services across the USA. This was the idea that later brought Smith huge success.
After he graduated from Yale in 1966, Smith entered the US Marine Corps, attending the flight school which thencarried him to fight in the Vietnam War. Being ranked as a Captain, Smith was honorably discharged in 1969, receiving numerous honors.
When he came back to the USA in 1970, Smith decided to develop his idea of a delivery service company he had written about while at Yale. He bought a controlling interest in Ark Aviation Sales, a company engaged in aircraft maintenance and owned by his then father-in-law. Eventually, he expanded the company into buying and selling corporate jets, which became very successful, with the company’s annual revenues being around $9 million, which boosted Smith’s net worth. He then raised $91 million from venture capitalists and invested his own $4 million which he had inherited from his father, to start the Federal Express Corporation, offering a 24-hour air-ground package delivery. At the beginning, the company wasn’t successful and lost money, mainly due to Smith investing too much in advertising, but also due to an increase in the fuel and gasoline prices, and was even on the verge of bankruptcy. However, by 1976 the company recovered from losses, its delivery services were expanded, and Federal Express started to make a profit. It soon became the fastest-growing company offering the fastest delivery service, also with its own network of overseas delivery routes. In 1984 its revenues were estimated at $1 billion, which greatly added to Smith’s growing wealth.
The company has constantly expanded and enhanced it’s services since. The advance of internet commerce and the extension and integration of the global economy greatly contributed to the company’s improvement. In 1994 the company was renamed to FedEx, and then again in 2000 to FedEx Corporation. Smith became one of the 400 richest people in the world and the major businessman on the express delivery market, with his company’s annual sales reaching an amazing $16.7 billion.
Aside from being the founder, chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx, Smith is also the co-owner of the Washington Redskins football team, and several entertainment companies, such as Dream Image Productions and Alcon Films. He has also been on the boards and councils of a number of big companies, a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame, the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame and the SMEI Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame, and a winner of several awards.
Interestingly, having been President Bush’s fraternity brother at Yale, Smith was offered the position of Defense Secretary in the Bush Cabinet two times, but he turned down the offers.
In his personal life, in 1969 Smith married Linda Black Grisham with whom he had two children before they divorced in 1977. Smith has been married to Diane Avis since, with whom he has eight children.