Bachelor's degree, Western Michigan University
Raised in Nazareth, Israel, Alec Gores moved with his family to Flint, Mich., at the age of 15. Members of his extended family were in the area and he worked at everything from stocking shelves to being a butcher at his uncle's grocery store while obtaining computer science and math degrees at Western Michigan University. On graduating, Gores started a company to sell software and hardware to small and midsized businesses. After selling it to Continental Telephone in the early 1980s, he realized he no longer wanted to start businesses from scratch, so he started buying promising companies he believed were underperforming. Today, with $2.7 billion under management, Gores Group
has acquired more than 80 companies since 1987 in the areas of industrial equipment, technology, telecommunications, health care, and business services.