Wilbur Ross facts for kids
|39th United States Secretary of Commerce|
February 28, 2017
|Preceded by||Penny Pritzker|
Wilbur Louis Ross, Jr.
November 28, 1937
Weehawken, New Jersey, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Judith Nodine (1961–1995)
Betsy McCaughey (1995–2000)
Hilary Geary (2004–present)
|Children||2 daughters (with Nodine)|
|Alma mater||Yale University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)
|Net worth||US$2.5 billion (December
Wilbur Louis Ross, Jr. (born November 28, 1937) is an American politician, investor, businessman and former banker. Ross is the 39th and current United States Secretary of Commerce since February 28, 2017.
Ross is known as the "King of Bankruptcy” for his experience in buying bankrupt companies, primarily in the manufacturing and steel industries, and later selling them for a large profit after operations improve. He was known for restructuring failed companies in industries such as steel, coal, telecommunications, foreign investment and textiles.
Ross was born on November 28, 1937 in Weehawken, New Jersey. He grew up in suburban New Jersey. His father, Wilbur Louis Ross, Sr., was a lawyer who later became a judge, and his mother, Agnes (O'Neill), was a school teacher.
In 2002, Ross founded International Steel Group after purchasing the assets of several bankrupt steel companies.
Ross had support of the local Steelworkers Union, negotiating a deal with them to "save" Pennsylvania's steel industry. Leo Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers union stated about Ross that "he was open and accessible and candid and honest and he put a lot of money back into the mills, so literally tens of thousands of jobs were saved." Ross sold International Steel Group to Mittal Steel Company for $4.5 billion, half in cash and half in stock, in April 2005.
Ross combined Burlington Industries and Cone Mills in 2004 to form International Textile Group. ITG operates five businesses, all of which operate under separate brand names: Cone Denim, Burlington Apparel Fabrics, Home Furnishings, Carlisle Finishing and Nano-Tex. In 2005, Ross purchased 77.3% of Safety Components International for $51.2 million. In 2006, Ross merged the firm into his International Textile Group.
Ross founded the International Coal Group, which was formed after several coal companies went bankrupt. The United Mine Workers of America protested the bankruptcy reorganization as it led to changes in health care and pensions for the existing employees.
United States Secretary of Commerce (since 2017)
On November 24, 2016, it was reported by the Associated Press that Ross will be tapped for United States Secretary of Commerce by the incoming Trump Administration. The Trump transition team confirmed the intent to nominate him on November 30, 2016.
In November 2017, a leaked database of documents known as the Paradise Papers revealed that after becoming commerce secretary, Ross had investments in a Navigator Holdings he once controlled that has significant business ties to Russia which was subject to American sanctions and President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law.
Ross married Judith Nodine in 1961. They had two daughters. Ross and Nodine divorced in 1995. His second wife was former New York Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey. They married in 1995 and divorced in 2000.
On October 9, 2004, Ross married his third wife, Hilary Geary, a society writer for Quest magazine.
Images for kids
Secretary Ross during the April 2017 Shayrat missile strike operation
Wilbur Ross Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.