- Category : Entrepreneur
- Type : R
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : None
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Consciousness 2
American entrepreneur; chairman and owner of the New England Patriots football team. On 2/03/2002, when the Patriots won their first and long-coveted Super Bowl Lombardi Trophy, TV news cameras caught the usually cool Kraft dancing wildly in the celebratory parade.
He followed the victory with another first; building a new stadium within the year by investing $325 million of his private funds. Kraft had been a long-time season-ticket owner and respected businessman when, in 1988, he purchased the team's Foxboro Stadium that had fallen into bankruptcy.
In 1994 he faced a difficult business decision: he could purchase the team by deploying nearly $200 million of family resources or accept a $75 million buyout offer to void the stadium's lease and allow the team to move out of New England. On 1/21/1994, he presented an 11th hour bid to buy the team for the highest purchase price in NFL history. The sale was effective on 2/25/1994, and Kraft's promise for a championship was delivered to exuberant fans in 2002. With his vision, excellent business skills, and influence,
Kraft has negotiated one of the most lucrative broadcast contracts in sports history and helped create a new model for the sports license apparel industry.
Kraft graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in 1963 and earned a master's degree in business administration from Harvard in 1965. He began his business career with the Rand-Whitney Group, Inc. of Worcester, MA and later acquired the company.
In 1972, he founded International Forest Products, which, along with the Rand-Whitney Group, comprises one of the largest privately owned paper and packaging companies in the U.S. In 1998, he founded the Kraft Group, which acts as a holding company for all of Kraft's portfolio companies and investments.
A philanthropist, Kraft has donated millions of dollars to charities and civic affairs. In addition to his leadership of the Kraft Group, he serves on the Executive Committee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and established the Robert K. Kraft Family Blood Donor Center; he also sits on
several boards including the Board of Overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and is a trustee of his alma mater at Columbia University. He and his wife Myra have four children.
His beloved wife and fellow philanthropist died from cancer on July 20, 2011.