Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#376 Leonard Stern $4.97B

Random fact: New York University's business school is named after him.


Stern is chairman of Hartz Mountain Industries, a closely held New Jersey real estate developer. Hartz Mountain has more than 38 million square feet of U.S. office, industrial and retail space in more than 250 buildings, as well as residential apartments and hotels. Stern sold a publishing business for $500 million in 2000.

As of May 21, 2018:
Last change No change
YTD change No change
Industry Real Estate
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship United States
Age 80
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Leonard Stern's net worth of $4.97B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Stern's fortune is derived from closely held Hartz Mountain Industries, which owns more than 250 buildings totaling more than 38 million square feet in New York, New Jersey and across the U.S., according to the company's website. Each property has been individually valued. Occupancy rates, rent per square foot and cap rates for Stern's real estate were aggregated using data from Bloomberg Industries, Real Capital Analytics, Cushman & Wakefield, STR and CBRE. The properties are about 50 percent leveraged, according to a person familiar with them who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Stern's office, industrial and retail properties encompass more than 25 million square feet in New Jersey and New York. The combined net asset value of these properties is about $1.8 billion. His residential properties consist of more than 2,400 housing units spread out over 9 apartment communities in New Jersey and Chicago. The combined net asset value of these properties is about $260 million. Stern's four hotels -- two in Manhattan, two in New Jersey -- have a combined net asset value of about $225 million. Rental income sourced after 2012 isn't included in the valuation because it couldn't be confirmed.

The billionaire sold his pet care business to private equity investor John Childs and his publishing company to Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for a combined $500 million in 2000. 

Phil Patton, a spokesman for the company, declined to comment on the billionaire's net worth calculation in November 2017.


Birthdate: 3/28/1938
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: 1959, New York University, Master's Degree 1957, New York University, Bachelor's Degree

Father Max Stern immigrated to the U.S. from Fulda, Germany, in 1926. He made the passage accompanied by 5,000 singing canaries that he'd received from a friend who couldn't pay back a loan. Stern had become the largest livestock importer in the U.S. by 1934, manufacturing packaged bird foods under the Hartz Mountain brand.

Leonard Stern joined his father's pet food business after graduating with an MBA from New York University in 1959. He expanded into real estate development in the 1960s, acquiring two tracts of barren marshes totaling over 1,250 acres in New Jersey's Meadowlands, six miles from downtown Manhattan. His real estate assets had grown to more than 35 million square feet by the late 1980s. At the same time, Hartz Mountain branched into publishing and the carpet cleaning business.

Stern's sons, Emanuel and Edward, joined their father's business in 1990, expanding the company's real estate holdings with the Soho and Tribeca Grand hotels in New York. He sold the pet-care products business to private equity mogul John Childs in 2000. Stern's publishing division was bought by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for about $500 million. He has since made investments in solar energy, oil and gas.

The billionaire has three children from his first marriage.

  • 1926 Father, Max Stern, immigrates to the U.S. from Germany.
  • 1934 Max starts producing packaged bird food under Hartz Mountain name.
  • 1938 Leonard Norman Stern is born in New York to Max and Hilda Stern.
  • 1959 Buys out his siblings and joins his father's pet food business.
  • 1969 Expands into real estate by acquiring 1,250 acres in New Jersey.
  • 1980 Enters cleaning business by buying Carpet Magic Co.
  • 1990 Sons Emanuel and Edward join the family business.
  • 1996 Builds Soho Grand and Tribeca Grand Hotels.
  • 2000 Sells pet care and publishing operations for about $500 million.
  • 2010 Starts investing in oil and gas.