Robert Kraft is the chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group, a diversified holding company interested in paper and packaging, sports and entertainment, and real estate development. In addition to his ownership of the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium, he has been a prominent philanthropist in education, Jewish causes, and medical research. He started buying shares of the Patriots in 1994 and became owner in 2000. He was among the finalists when the 2017 Summer Deaflympics were choosing a city to host their games
- Early Life
Robert Kraft was born in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Bella and Max Kraft. He attended New Utrecht High School, where he was a star athlete and student council president. In 1960 he graduated from Brooklyn College as part of their baseball team that went to the National Championship. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston University in 1962. After completing his military service, Kraft began work as an investment banker at Shearman & Sterling in New York City before leaving for Los Angeles in 1968.
Robert Kraft became involved in the purchase of the New England Patriots in 1994. He took over as franchise owner and moved the team to Foxboro, Massachusetts. He has overseen a period of tremendous growth for the franchise, which has evolved from an obscure franchise in a small city into one of the most successful American sports leagues. Robert Kraft’s expansion efforts have been widely praised, and he continues to grow by bringing in talent through trades and free-agent signings. He received praise when he kept Bill Belichick after firing Bill Parcells in Belichick’s first season as coach of the Patriots.
Robert Kraft has been widely recognized for his success as an owner, with the Patriots being nominated for the Most Valuable Player several times and honored in many other categories. He was named Sports Executive of the Year in 2011 and 2013 by Business Week. He sold his Gillette Stadiums to himself under provisions in his petition to buy the franchise from James Orthwein. The New England Patriots were named “New England’s Favorite Sports Team” by The Boston Globe in 1996 and 1997
To be successful, a CEO must show results in the company. Kraft has managed to do this in his purchase of the Patriots. The team has made seven Super Bowl appearances, winning four times and winning championships three times. See related link for more information.
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