Russell Simmons Net Worth: $340 million
Quick facts about Russell Simmons
Date of birth: October 4, 1957
Place of birth: Queens, New York, U.S.
Occupation: music entrepreneur, film producer
Russell Simmons is one of the biggest examples of the American Dream being alive and well in the twenty-first century. Russell Wendell Simmons was born October 4, 1957, in Queens, New York. Breaking just about every glass ceiling that he ever encountered, he co-founded the music label Def Jam which is all but synonymous with hip-hop. A businessman, he also created Phat Farm, a major clothing line, American Classics, and Argyleculture. Topping the list as the third richest person in the hip hop industry, which says a lot, Simmons is worth an estimated $340. Coming from very humble beginnings, he exemplifies the “rags to riches” story that we all dream of.
Growing up in Queens, New York, there was nothing remarkable about his upbringing or his childhood. Graduating high school, he attended the City College of New York in Harlem whereas luck would have it, literally; he met DJ/Bboy and Kurt Walker. That alliance formed the path for the fame and success for all three individuals. The founders and creators of the hip hop movement, none probably had any idea of the effect they would have on the music world, as well as on the youth of America.
Up until 2006 Simmons was married to longtime girlfriend Kimora Lee and lived with their two daughters in Saddle River, New Jersey. A step up from his middle-class childhood, the mansion they shared was over 35,000 square-feet. Not like the rest of the A-listers in the music world, Simmons prefers the quiet life. He isn’t one to flash his money around, although having plenty of it. Rather, he is known for his generosity and giving back to the community. Hero of African Americans, he donates not only his time, but his money to many programs that are specifically targeted at African-American youth. Wanting to make a difference, he doesn’t just open up a checkbook; he opens up his heart.
Not just a businessman, Russell Simmons has love for the arts. In addition to his musical business, he has a fondness for film which is why, in 1985, he co-produced Krush Groove. Taking from the things learned from his old school mates, he co-founded Def Jam alongside Rick Rubin, who later left the company, selling his shares for over $2 billion. Having a knack for turning start-up to gold, he is claimed for beginning 360 hip hops on the internet and later selling it to BET.