Robert Kraft is the founder, chairman & CEO of The Kraft Group, a diversified holding company with assets in paper & packaging, sports & entertainment, real estate development and a private equity portfolio. He is most well-known as the owner of the NFL's New England Patriots and Major League Soccer's New England Revolution.
Kraft began his professional career with the Rand-Whitney Group, which was a Worcester-based packaging company run by his father-in-law Jacob Hiatt. He gained control of the company in 1968 through a leveraged buyout. Then, based on a hunch that the increase in international communications and transportation would lead to an expansion of global trade in the late twentieth century, in 1972, he founded International Forest Products which together created the largest privately held paper and packaging companies in the United States. He then built out the Kraft Group from the packaging businesses, acquiring interests in other areas.
A Patriots fan since their American Football League days, Kraft has been a season ticket holder since 1971. In 1994, after two previous attempts, Kraft was able to purchase the team outright, a then NFL-record $172 million. He then founded the New England Revolution in 1996, a charter member of Major League Soccer. Since Kraft bought the team, the Patriots have won AFC East titles in multiple seasons; 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. They have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl in 1996 (lost), 2001 (won) 2003 (won) 2004 (won) 2007 (lost) 2011 (lost) and 2014 (won). The Patriots finished the 2003, 2004, and 2010 seasons with identical 14–2 regular-season records, and also finished the 2007 regular season undefeated before losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
Robert Kraft also owns the stadium in which the Patriots play, Gillette Stadium.
Forbes places Robert Kraft's net worth at $4.3 billion USD.
Outside of sports and business, the Krafts have donated over $100 million to a variety of philanthropic causes including education, child and women issues, healthcare, youth sports and American and Israeli causes.
By tlp333 @ 2008-05-23 18:40:48