Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#147 Carl Cook $9.76B

Random fact: Company's first sale was two catheters at $7.50 each.

Overview

Cook is owner and chief executive officer of Cook Group, a medical equipment maker based in Bloomington, Indiana. Its Cook Medical division manufactures 16,000 products, including catheters, dilators, stents and wire guides. It distributes devices in 135 countries, and provides training to educate doctors how to use them.

As of July 21, 2017:
Last change -$100M (-1.0%)
YTD change +$1.68B (+20.8%)
Industry Health Care
Biggest asset Cook Group
Citizenship United States
Age 54
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Carl Cook's net worth of $9.76B can buy ...

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Cook's wealth is derived from his ownership of Cook Group, the medical device company founded by his late father. The company had about $2.04 billion in revenue in 2016, according to the company's manager of external communications, Marsha Lovejoy. It makes 16,000 products and sells to 135 countries, according to its website in April 2017.

The company is valued based on the average enterprise value-to-Ebitda and enterprise value-to-sales multiples of four comparable publicly traded peer companies: Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, Edwards Lifesciences and Medtronic.

Dave McCarty, director of public relations, declined to comment on Cook's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 8/1962
Family: Unknown, No children
Education: 1984, Bachelor's Degree, Electrical Engineering, Purdue University MBA, University of Iowa

Carl Cook was born in Bloomington, Indiana to William Alfred Cook and Gayle Karch Cook in 1962. The couple started a medical device company in the spare bedroom of their apartment using a blowtorch, a soldering iron and plastic tubing to make catheters, according to a New York Times article in 2011. Their first sale was two catheters, for $7.50 apiece, the newspaper reported. The following year, Bill Cook met Charles Dotter, who developed angioplasty, a method used to widen obstructed blood vessels. That was the start of a partnership that revolutionized minimally invasive medicine.

The business expanded to Europe and Asia in the 1970s, allowing doctors to perform 2,000 cardiovascular catheterizations a day by the end of that decade, according to its website. They expanded to serve more niche areas such as gastrointestinal endoscopy and urology, with the establishment of MED Institute, its research and development facility.

Cook Group was the first company to sell coronary stents in the U.S., which are tubes inserted into blood vessels and, in the 1990s, became the world's largest closely held medical device manufacturer, according to its website. It's gone from selling wire guides, needles and catheters to making 16,000 products that are distributed in 135 countries.

Gayle Cook was kidnapped in 1989 by Arthur Curry, an Indianapolis man and failed Chicago investment broker, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. Curry bound her hands, legs, mouth and eyes with duct tape and asked her husband for a ransom of $1.2 million in cash and $500,000 in gold. FBI agents caught Curry 26 hours later, the newspaper reported.

Bill Cook died in 2011. He is survived by Gayle and Carl, who was appointed chief executive officer of Cook when his father passed away.

Milestones
  • 1957 Parents William and Gayle marry.
  • 1963 Cook Group founded with a blowtorch, sodering iron and plastic tubing.
  • 1963 Sells first products, two catheters for $7.50 each, the New York Times said.
  • 1970 Business expands into Europe and Asia.
  • 1989 Mother gets kidnapped while grocery shopping and held for a day.
  • 1993 First company in U.S. to sell coronary stents, tubes inserted in blood vessels.
  • 2001 Company sponsors the Broadway show "Blast."
  • 2011 Takes over Cook Group after father dies from congestive heart failure.