Learn about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, including how he made his wealth, his education and more.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS | ROBERT KRAFT | CHAIRMAN, CEO | AGE: 77
Education: Columbia University, Harvard Business School
How They Acquired The Franchise: Having purchased Foxboro Stadium in 1988, Kraft jumped at the opportunity to buy the Patriots when the team hit the market in ’94. Kraft paid a then-NFL record $172 million to acquire the franchise from James Orthwein, a St. Louis businessman who had purchased the Patriots just two years earlier.
Net Worth: $6.2 billion (per Forbes in 2018)
Franchise Valuation: $3.7 billion (per Forbes in 2017)
How They Made Their Money: Kraft made his initial fortune in paper manufacturing with paper company Rand-Whitney (he now owns International Forest Products and half of New-Indy, as well). In addition to the Patriots—and what’s now known as Gillette Stadium—Kraft also owns the New England Revolution of the MLS and a stake in UFC.
In the Owner’s Words: “You don’t know anything when you come in,” Kraft told the Palm Beach Post. “You might think you do. There’s a lot of very accomplished, smart people who come into the league and they get dressed down pretty quickly.”
Political Donations: Kraft has been a dependable Democratic donor for years, donating $25K to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008 and $40K in ’12. A longtime friend of Donald Trump, Kraft also reportedly donated $1 million to the Trump Inaugural Committee via the Kraft Group LLC., in ’16.
NFL Committees: Management Council Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Media Committee (Chairman), NFL Network Committee, Compensation Committee.
Next in Line: Robert’s son, Jonathan, serves as president of the Patriots and is described by the team site as “the day-to-day driving force behind the rebuilding and rebranding of the franchise, bringing long-overdue stability to the once wayward organization.”