Sam Zell, one of history's greatest contrarian investors, started with nothing and worked his way up to a $5 billion real estate fortune. He also made headlines for his tumultuous takeover of Tribune Company which, in less than a year under his ownership, went bankrupt. Real estate expert Ben Johnson draws back the curtain on this colourful mogul, showing Zell's humble origins as the son of Polish immigrants, his early days as a landlord and his astonishing run of dealmaking in unglamorous industries such as cargo containers, fertiliser and plumbing.
Ben Johnson first encountered Sam Zell while leading two of the real estate industry's most respected trade publications, "National Real Estate Investor" and "Shopping Center World." He previously directed the custom publishing division at American Airlines, ran a division of real estate researcher CoStar Group, and was the director of marketing for Wells Real Estate Funds. He lives in Plano, Texas.