1. Carl Icahn: Introduction
  2. Carl Icahn: Early Life and Education
  3. Carl Icahn: Success Story
  4. Carl Icahn: Net Worth
  5. Carl Icahn: Famous or Infamous
  6. Carl Icahn: Most Influential Quotes

Carl Icahn is a New York-based investor and one of the 50 richest men in the world, with more than $20 billion in assets. He is known for his brash style as a corporate raider and as an outspoken shareholder activist. He founded his own firm in 1968 focused on arbitrage opportunities, and went on to fame in the 1980s through a series of takeovers and attempted takeovers of some of the biggest companies in America, including Texaco, TWA and American Airlines (Nasdaq: AAL). In 1985, he successfully took over TWA, and brought it back from the verge of bankruptcy for several years through a series of controversial changes. It finally went bankrupt in 1992 and emerged the next year, at which point Icahn relinquished his role as chairman.

In the 1980s, Icahn frequently locked horns with CEOs and corporate boards, sometimes winning needed reforms or driving his targets into mergers with other companies. He was also the beneficiary of a practice known as greenmailing, in which a company would get him to abandon his takeover attempt in one of two ways: either they would make the strategic and organizational changes he demanded, or they would simply buy him out.

A colorful figure and an aggressive investor, Icahn is credited as one of the inspirations for the Gordon Gecko character in Oliver Stone’s 1987 film Wall Street.

As an investor, he continues to use his large ownership stakes to criticize the boards and management of publicly traded companies, and to earn profits. In 2000, he attempted to take over Nabisco (now owned by Mondelez International, Inc. [MDLZ]), losing out to Philip Morris Co. (now a subsidiary of Altria Group, Inc. [MO]); he earned a reported $600 million profit in the process.

In 2004, Icahn opened a hedge fund, allowing other investors to benefit from his investment ideas and from the so-called Icahn Lift, which often affects a stock price after he begins buying into a company he thinks is promising, but mismanaged.

Now in his seventies, Icahn remains an active figure in the markets, with recent high-profile investments and contentious exchanges with management at companies such as Netflix (NFLX), Dell, Apple (AAPL), Family Dollar (DLTR) and eBay (EBAY). 


Carl Icahn: Early Life and Education
Related Articles
  1. Managing Wealth

    Carl Icahn's Investing Strategy

    Buying up failing investments and turning them around helped to create the "Icahn lift" phenomenon.
  2. Insights

    How Did Carl Icahn Get Rich?

    Carl Icahn became wealthy as a corporate raider by buying large stakes and manipulating the company's decisions to increase its shareholder value.
  3. Managing Wealth

    Turnaround Titan: How Carl Icahn Does It

    Carl Icahn's investment strategy, explained to regular investors.
  4. Investing

    Where Does Carl Icahn Keep His Money?

    Learn about where Carl Icahn keeps his money. Read about how a number of his investments in energy companies lost significant value in 2015.
  5. Investing

    Billionaire Icahn Trimmed Xerox, AIG, and More: 13F Filing

    The billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn trimmed his stake in American International Group last quarter.
  6. Investing

    Recent events may impact Icahn's portfolio (AAPL, AIG)

    Recent Events Surrounding Apple Inc. (AAPL) and American International Group Inc (AIG) May Impact Carl Icahn's Hedge Fund
  7. Investing

    Carl Icahn Sold $21.5 Billion Worth of Stocks in Q1 (AAPL,IEP)

    Icahn has previously warned of an imminent market crash. His 13F reveals the extent of his pessimism.
  8. Investing

    If Carl Icahn Lost 20% in 2016, What Hope is There?

    If iconic billionaire Icahn loses that much, are hedge funds pointless?
  9. Retirement

    Billionaire Carl Icahn's Q1 Moves: PYPL, AAPL

    Billionaire hedge fund manager Carl Icahn reduced his holdings in PYPL and AAPL in Q1. Let's find out why.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Why Do Most of My Mortgage Payments Start Out as Interest?

    Fear not: Over the life of the mortgage, the portions of interest to principal will change.
  2. What is the difference between secured and unsecured debts?

    The differences between secured and unsecured debt, and how banks buffer risks associated with each type of loan through ...
  3. How Many Times has Warren Buffett Been Married?

    Warren Buffett has been married twice in his life, but the circumstances surrounding the marriages were unconventional.
  4. What's the smallest number of shares of stock that I can buy?

    Many people would say the smallest number of shares an investor can purchase is one, but the real answer is not as straightforward. ...
Trading Center