Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# Johnny Morris

Random fact: Staged 1994 memorial for Ethel, a celebrity largemouth bass.

Overview

Morris is the founder and owner of Bass Pro Shops, a chain of about 100 fishing, hunting and outdoor sporting goods stores. The Springfield, Missouri-based company has locations across the U.S. and Canada. Its stores incorporate restaurants, bowling alleys, aquariums, indoor archery ranges and other attractions.

As of Jan. 21, 2018:
Last change ()
YTD change ()
Industry Retail
Biggest asset N/A
Citizenship United States
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Johnny Morris's net worth of 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 the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

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Biography

Birthdate:
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 1970, Drury University, Graduated

John "Johnny" Morris was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, where he grew up fishing in the Ozarks with his father before attending local Drury University. After graduating in 1970, Morris got the idea to sell fishing tackle in his dad's Brown Derby liquor store when the local discount store wouldn't stock the lures and other items he needed to compete on the professional bass fishing circuit. He stocked up a U-Haul with $10,000 worth of gear, then opened an eight-foot "Bass Pro Shop" inside the liquor store in 1971.

Morris published his first mail-order catalog in 1974 to help fishermen who wanted to restock their tackle boxes when they returned home. He continued to operate out of his dad's liquor store for a decade until the building that had housed the department store that wouldn't stock his gear came on the market. He didn't know what to do with all of the 80,000 square feet in the building until a visit to the Freeport, Maine, headquarters store of L.L. Bean inspired him.

That led to the installation of everything from aquariums and mounted trophy collections, to restaurants and bowling alleys. Morris's other inspiration came in 1978 with his "Bass Tracker" brand of the first fully rigged, ready-to-fish aluminum boats, complete with motors and trailers. His Tracker Marine Group now owns brands that include Nitro, SunTracker pontoons, Tahoe, and Mako saltwater boats.

Milestones
  • 1971 Opens fishing tackle section in father's Brown Derby liquor store.
  • 1974 Publishes first of what has since expanded to 12 mail-order catalogs.
  • 1978 Develops line of outfitted, ready-to-fish Tracker aluminum boats.
  • 1981 Inspired by visit to L.L. Bean in Maine to build Bass Pro superstore.
  • 2004 Buys back 28.5 percent Bass Pro stake held by J.W. Childs Associates.
  • 2007 Pays $222 million for 13 percent stake held by Gaylord Entertainment.
  • 2016 Announces $5.5 billion deal to acquire competitor Cabela's.
  • 2017 100 Bass Pro stores and Tracker Marine Centers across North America