Marcus Lemonis is a well-known American businessman and a self-made millionaire. He is also a popular media personality, thanks to the CNBC reality series, The Profit. The show features him advising small business owners on how to stay afloat. Lemonis puts his money where his mouth is as he does not just advise these companies but he also invests in them.
The reality show star has done well for himself, earning tremendous wealth from his gig in The Profit. Lemonis equally has an interest in other businesses. The Marquette University alum spent some time working for his grandfather before branching out on his own to float an RV company which has become a money-spinner for the businessman.
Marcus Lemonis’ Career Started When He Joined His Grandfather In Business
Upon leaving college, Marcus Lemonis went to work for his grandfather’s Florida car dealership company called Anthony Abraham Chevrolet (AutoNation acquired the dealership in 1997). Marcus spent some years in the company during which he rose to a managerial position. He, however, quit that comfortable post after his mentor and family friend, Lee Lacocca, advised him to go into RV (recreational vehicle) business. Lacocca let Marcus in on his plans to create the largest RV chain as the business model in the US was fractured.
Lacocca also gave Lemonis a start-up loan and the young entrepreneur was able to acquire an RV company known as Holiday RV Superstore where he served as the chief executive officer from June 2001 to February 2003. Lemonis thereafter co-founded another company known as Freedom Roads through which he started acquiring RV dealerships, and in 2006, the aspiring business tycoon merged with Camping World, assuming responsibilities at the helm of affairs as the CEO.
Again in 2011, he merged with Good Sam Enterprises while retaining his position as CEO. The versatile businessman now sits atop an RV business empire worth $3 billion. He has received several accolades for his impact in the RV industry, more so, Ernst & Young named him Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008. He was featured by Crain’s Chicago Business in their 2005 edition of “40 under 40”
His Exploits As The Boss Of Camping World
Camping World is a company that sells RVs, RVs parts, and offers maintenance. When he assumed office as the boss of the recreational vehicle company, Marcus Lemonis did exploits in the car racing field which include sponsoring NASCAR driver, John Andretti, in 2014. In 2007, however, the RV mogul had announced their plans of taking over sponsorship of the NASCAR East Series from the former company Busch Beer for the 2008-09 seasons; this led to the series being rebranded as NASCAR Camping World Series.
It would appear that the company’s sponsorship did not only go to the NASCAR East series, The Craftsman Truck Series also enjoyed their support when they sponsored the series, and rebranded it the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. This feat gave Camping World pride of place as one of the top three sponsors of the sport, the company renewed their sponsorship in 2014.
Marcus Lemonis Has Brought Camping World To Enviable Heights
Camping World couldn’t have chosen a better CEO than Lemonis. The business tycoon has proved that he is versed in the cutthroat business world through his career achievements at Camping World. In October 2016, the RV company went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CWH) selling at $22 per share; which gave the company a market value estimated at $2 billion. A couple of years later, on the 18th of December 2018, Camping World traded at $14.46 a share.
Under Marcus Lemonis’ watch, Camping World made some successful acquisitions; first, it was the assets of a camping, fishing, and hunting gear retailer Gander Mountain which they acquired in April 2017. Barely three months later in July 2017, the company announced the acquisition of an online retailer The House Boardshop which specializes in sailboards, bikes, wakeboards, skateboards, outdoor gear, and snowboards.
He’s Got Achievements Television Too
Marcus has also made his mark on television, appearing on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice in two episodes. The recreational vehicle expert also made an appearance in a single episode of ABC’s Secret Millionaire in 2012. He then returned to his native Miami to assist local charities.
In 2013, the Camping World boss became the star of The Profit reality TV show on CNBC. In the show, Marcus searches out promising but faltering small businesses invest his own fund and acquire part ownership in those businesses. At the end of the day, he turns the firms into profit-making ventures for the owners and also enjoys a cut of the proceeds.
Lemonis has also starred in the CNBC program The Partner, but he did not just star in it, he also came as the co-producer.
Marcus Lemonis Has Acquired A Great Fortune From His Endeavors
Marcus Lemonis reportedly has a net worth of $900 million; however conservative estimates put his wealth at $500 million. Whichever it is, there is no doubt that the relentless entrepreneur has done well for himself. One factor that has helped to expand Lemonis’ business empire is the reality TV series, The Profit. Each episode involves him assisting a struggling company and giving it tips on how to survive the harsh economy. He also invests his own money in the company in return for an ownership stake.
As a result of this, he has been able to acquire interests in dozens of businesses including Unique Salon and Spa, Coopersburg Sports, My Big Fat Greek Gyro, Grafton Furniture, Flex Watches, etc. It is important to note that Lemonis is not all about the money. He has a philanthropic heart and supports several worthy causes.
He Grew Up Under The Watch Of A Foster Family
Lemonis was not born in America but rather in Beirut, Lebanon. His biological father was a Lebanese man named Abdallel while his biological mom was a Syrian lady named Nadia. At the time of his birth, Beirut was embroiled in a bitter civil war and his parents left him at an orphanage. This was most probably due to safety concerns. Lemonis thus spent the first nine months of his life in the orphanage before a Miami-based couple adopted him. He subsequently grew up in Miami with his adoptive parents; Leo and Sophia Lemonis.
Marcus Lemonis developed an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age and this was due to his family background. His grandfather owned a car dealership and the family placed emphasis on a strong work ethic. Consequently, while most youngsters were busy going to camp or indulging in other recreational activities; Lemonis helped out in his family’s business. This work experience instilled an enterprising spirit in him and he started his very first business, a lawn mowing service, at the age of 12.
The Camping World Boss Has Been Married Since 2018
Marcus Lemonis is very much off the market. He is married to a fellow highflying entrepreneur named Bobbi Raffel. The couple first met in 2006 when Lemonis purchased a fashion business belonging to Raffel. They subsequently commenced a relationship and got engaged on the 25th of December 2017. Marcus arranged a creative proposal by using a “secret Santa gift” to amaze Bobbi Raffel. The couple then tied the knot in February 2018. The beautiful ceremony took place at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.
Unlike many weddings where the bride is usually most excited, Marcus Lemonis was visibly elated during the nuptials. He shared numerous snaps from the ceremony on his official Instagram handle. He also described the day as a special and awesome day which moved him to tears.
To date, Marcus and Bobbi have kept her real age hidden from the public, though reports have surfaced claiming that she was born on 21 September 1953. However, one thing is certain; Bobbi Raffel is way older then her husband and the records have it that Marcus is far from being her first husband as she has an adult son and a daughter, but as they say, age is just a number when love comes to play. One thing that cannot be disputed about their union is that Bobbi is super proud of her spouse and is very vocal about it.
What We Know About Marcus Lemonis’ Early Life
After he was dropped in an orphanage by his biological parents who obviously never came back for him, Lemonis true origin cannot be traced. We are only left with the little we can get from the records about his parents.
Marcus Anthony Lemonis was born in 1973 in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. He, however, grew up in Miami where he attended Christopher Columbus High School. After that, the future entrepreneur headed to Milwaukee to join Marquette University. Marcus studied political science, criminology, and economics at the university graduating in 1995.