Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#524 Jerry Jones $3.80B

Random fact: Has also been Cowboys general manager since buying team.

Overview

Jones owns the Dallas Cowboys, the most valuable franchise in the National Football League. The one-time wildcatter bought the team in 1989 for $140 million. He also has about 900 acres north of Dallas that he plans to develop into luxury housing and a joint venture with Papa John's International that owns Texas pizzerias.

As of Sept. 21, 2017:
Last change -$228k (-0.0%)
YTD change -$10.4M (-0.3%)
Industry Entertainment
Biggest asset Dallas Cowboys
Citizenship United States
Age 74
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Jerry Jones's net worth of $3.80B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Jones's fortune largely derives from the Dallas Cowboys, the National Football League franchise he purchased in 1989 for a then-record $140 million. The team is worth $3.6 billion today, the most valuable in the NFL, based on an October 2016 valuation assessment from Peter J. Schwartz, a consultant with New York-based Anderson Group. Jones owns the whole team and is believed to hold no debt on the organization, according to Schwartz.

The billionaire, through a series of entities named Blue Star, owns about 900 acres of land in Collin County, Texas, valued at more than $140 million, according to the Collin Central Appraisal District's 2016 market value assessment. Jones also owns oil and gas interests, according to D Magazine, a Dallas-area publication. These aren't valued because Jones's Blue Star Energy entities didn't report any 2015 production to the state's industry regulator, the Texas Railroad Commission.

Jones is 49 percent owner of Star Papa, a franchisee of Papa John's pizzerias in Texas. Publicly traded Papa John's owns the rest and discloses earnings before interest and taxes for all joint ventures in its annual report. Jones's interest in the business probably earned $3 million based on data in Papa John's 2015 10-k, the last one that disclosed financials on each large franchisee separately. The asset is valued using the enterprise value-to-Ebit for Papa John's.

Jones declined to discuss his net worth through spokesman Rich Dalrymple.

Biography

Birthdate: 10/13/1942
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: 1970, University of Arkansas, Master's Degree 1965, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Bachelor's Degree

Jerral "Jerry" Jones was raised in the Rose City section of North Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of grocery store owners Pat and Arminta Jones. He attended the University of Arkansas where, on his first day on campus, he met Eugenia "Gene" Chambers, a student and beauty queen, according to a profile of the billionaire by ESPN The Magazine in 2014. They married 18 months later.

At Arkansas, Jones played football and was co-captain of the 1964 Arkansas team that went undefeated and was crowned national champion by the Football Writers of America Association. He graduated from the school in 1965 with a degree in business administration and earned his MBA there the same year, according to his official biography.

Shortly after graduating, Jones decided he wanted to buy a pro team and struck a deal to buy the San Diego Chargers of the then-fledgling American Football League, according to a transcsript of an HBO interview with Jones published by CBS Sports in 2015. That deal fell through when Jones reconsidered given the team's poor financial health. Jones went on to a business in fast food franchises and then into oil wildcatting, where he had the unusual good luck of striking oil in 12 of his first 13 wells, according to a 2009 profile of Jones in the Dallas Observer. The oil business cemented Jones's fortune.

Jones paid $140 million for the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, the largest price paid for an NFL team at the time. He revamped the team, firing the only person to serve as the team's coach, Tom Landry, and named Jimmy Johnson coach and himself general manager, in charge of player personnel. The franchise would go on to win three Super Bowls through 1995.

Jones and Gene live in the Dallas area. Their three children - Stephen, Charlotte and Jerral Jr. - are executives with the Cowboys.

Milestones
  • 1942 Jerral "Jerry" Jones is born. He grows up in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
  • 1965 Graduates from University of Arkansas with undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  • 1966 Reaches deal to buy San Diego Chargers, then backs out.
  • 1989 Purchases Dallas Cowboys for then-record price of $140 million.
  • 1992 Cowboys win first of three Super Bowls under Jones.
  • 2004 Enters joint venture with Papa John's for Texas pizza franchises.
  • 2009 Opens new Cowboys venue, AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas.
  • 2015 Begins constructing Gates of Prosper, a planned 1,500 home community.