In King Icahn, author Mark Stevens provides a detailed account of activist investor Carl Icahn’s biggest investment deals. The book offers a glimpse of Icahn’s upbringing. In short, it gives readers an understanding of how a med school dropout became the corporate raider he is today.
At 80 years old, billionaire Carl Icahn runs Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP), the investment holding company he built from the ground up. Icahn’s personal net worth is over $20 billion, but he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
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Stevens shows that Icahn had to overcome many obstacles and setbacks to become the top financier he is today. Icahn grew up in Queens in a lower middle class, Jewish family. Quite different from the ultra-wealthy, WASP culture that dominates the investment industry.
After a brief overview of Icahn’s childhood, the book jumps into how his investment career began. It quickly details the deals that made him wealthy. The activist investor’s largest and most profitable investments were also some of the most controversial in corporate history.
To describe Carl Icahn the man, Stevens provides a play-by-play coverage of Carl Icahn’s most prominent investments. From his proxy takeover of Tappan Company to his reign as CEO at Trans World Airlines. Icahn’s negotiating style reveals his personality.
After reading the biography, readers will not only gain the equivalence of a master’s degree in corporate finance. They’ll also share the author’s conclusion about Carl Icahn:
“There are many qualities about this germaphobic, detached, relatively loveless man but he is by far the smartest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing in my life.”
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