Marcus Lemonis Biography
Marcus Anthony Lemonis is an American businessman, investor, politician, as well as a television personality. The Lebanese-born entrepreneur is the current Chief Executive Officer of companies like ‘Camping World Holdings, Inc.’, an American corporation specializing in selling recreational vehicles, recreational motor parts, and recreational motor service.
‘Good Sam Enterprises’, a provider of subscription-based products and membership clubs, targeted toward the recreational vehicle and other outdoor enthusiasts in the United States, and ‘Gander Mountain Company, Inc.’, a retail network of stores for hunting, fishing, and camping.
Apart from these three companies, he is also in charge of ‘The House Boardshop’ as well as the presenter of the American reality television show ‘The Profit’ that focuses on saving small businesses across the country.
Marcus Lemonis Age
Marcus Lemonis is a Lebanese-born American businessman who landed the planet on November 16, 1973, which makes his age be 45 as of 2018. In addition to business, he is popular for being a television personality and politician as well.
Marcus Lemonis Early life and Education
Lemonis was born as Ricardo in Beirut, Lebanon, during the chaos of civil war and foreign invasions, to parents Abdalla (from Lebanon) and Nadia (from Baniyas, Syria) and was abandoned at an orphanage 4 days after his birth.
He was adopted during his infancy on July 29, 1974, by Leo and Sophia Lemonis, a couple living in Miami, Florida. His adoptive father was Greek, his adoptive mother was Lebanese.
Lemonis was exposed to the automotive industry throughout his upbringing, his grandfather, Anthony Abraham owning two of the largest Chevrolet dealerships in the United States and Lee Iacocca serving as a family friend and later mentor and financial investor to Marcus, loaning him millions to start a recreational vehicle business.
Lemonis earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in criminology from Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1995, and unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives shortly after his graduation, whereupon he refocused his career on the automotive industry.
Marcus Lemonis Career
Marcus Lemonis was exposed to the automobile business from his childhood, thanks to his grandfather Anthony Abraham who owned two Chevrolet dealerships, two of the largest in the country.
Lido Anthony “Lee” Iacocca, who is popularly known for spearheading the development of Ford Mustang and Pinto cars, was a family friend to the Lemonises and influenced Marcus to follow the footsteps of his grandfather.
Marcus joined politics for a while after his graduation and ran for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives unsuccessfully. He later shifted his focus back to the automobile business. In 1997, When Marcus was working for one of his grandfather’s automobile dealers in South Florida, it was acquired by AutoNation.
At this time, Lee Iacocca told him about his dream of ‘creating the largest RV chain’ and asked him to help him with his dream. Lee helped Marcus set up Holiday RV Superstores and Marcus ran the business for two years, from 2001 to 2003. He later formed his own company called FreedomRoads and began acquiring RV dealerships.
In 2006, the company merged with Camping World and later with Good Sam Enterprises in 2011. As the CEO of Camping World, Lemonis collaborated with NASCAR and sponsored driver John Andretti. In 2007, Lemonis, along with Camping World, announced the takeover of the sponsorship of NASCAR East Series.
Apart from being in the automobile business, Marcus also presented the reality television show named ‘The Profit’, in which he helped small businesses survive and even grow by helping them with funds. In return, he took a portion of the business.
Rose’s Bakery & Wheat Free Café is a prime example of the success of the show as the company was on the verge of closing down on the eve of Christmas 2012. Marcus funded an initial amount of US$200,000 to become the majority owner of the business which helped the company to survive.
He invested an additional amount of US$150,000 over the next 18 months to ensure that the company opened a second location in Highland Park, Illinois. He also helped several other companies including ‘1-800-Car Cash’, ‘Eco-Me’, ‘Athans Motors’, ‘Sweet Pete’s’, ‘Amazing Grapes’, ‘Key West Key Lime Pie Co.
Key West Key Lime Pie Co.’, ‘Coopersburg Sports’, ‘SJC Drums’, ‘Standard Burger’, and ‘Grafton Furniture.’ Following his remarkable job of saving several businesses by investing in them, he was lauded by many experts and was named ‘Newsmaker of the Year’ by RV Business Magazine.
He has also been involved in several philanthropic activities. He is known for helping organizations like ‘St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’, ‘Lincoln Park Zoo’, ‘Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center’, and ‘Joffrey Ballet’.
Marcus Lemonis Television personality
Lemonis was featured on two episodes of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, hosting marketing-related challenges. In 2011, he gave each team two Camping World RVs and challenged them to stage experience in midtown Manhattan.
In 2012, Lemonis challenged the contestants to write a 90-second jingle for Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance program In 2012, Lemonis appeared on an episode of ABC’s Secret Millionaire, returning to his hometown of Miami to help local charities.
In 2013, Lemonis became the star of the CNBC reality shows The Profit, which features Lemonis on the hunt for promising yet faltering small businesses. In the show, Lemonis invests his own money for part ownership in the businesses to make them profitable. After the third season, Lemonis had invested $35 million in businesses featured in the program.
In 2017, Lemonis starred in the CNBC program The Partner, in which he searches for a business manager to assist in running businesses Lemonis invests in on The Profit. Lemonis will also co-produce.
Parents: Sophia Lemonis, Leo Lemonis
Marcus Lemonis Personal Life | Wife
Marcus Anthony Lemonis was born on November 16, 1973, in a war-torn Beirut, Lebanon. He was adopted by a Greek family after he lost his birth family during the civil war and the foreign invasion.
His adoptive parents, Sophia Lemonis, and Leo Lemonis were living in Miami, Florida at the time of the adoption. Marcus attended Marquette University in Milwaukee and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in criminology in 1995.
He has been married twice. His first marriage to Ila Penfold took place in 2003 and ended in divorce in 2017. A year after divorcing his first wife, he married Roberta “Bobbi” Raffel in 2018. He currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Favorite Quotes from Marcus Lemonis
“People are the core of every business. Businesses are based on relationships, and relationships are based on people. I would go to an average restaurant run by amazing people over an outstanding restaurant run by awful people.”
“If you have trust with somebody, it can survive any downturn, any mistake, any problem. And if you don’t have trust, it won’t matter how good the business is. It will fall apart eventually.”
“Things are always going to go wrong. People make mistakes. I know I do. It’s how you resolve it that matters most. Listen, be open to criticism, resolve it with speed and empathy, and take responsibility.”
“Put no more than three messages on a lemonade stand. You have to describe what your product is, why it’s the best, and how much it is. Don’t be drawing turtles and flowers and footballs all over it, distracting people. Keep it clean.”
“I’m really not a great businessperson. I understand the business, and I understand numbers, but I think what I understand more than that is people… Ultimately, I think businesses fail and people fail because they don’t have their act together.”
“Stay focused, work hard, know your numbers, and be disciplined. If you do those things and take care of your people, the likelihood of being successful is very, very high.”
“Usually, you can figure out where a person’s mistakes came from if you ask them the genesis of their thought process: ‘Why did you do it this way?’ As opposed to telling them they did it the wrong way. Understanding their thought process will ultimately help you be able to communicate with them and navigate around them.”
Marcus Lemonis Net Worth
Marcus Lemonis is one of the best businessmen and investors in the industry.
He has helped several companies to survive. Following his incredible work of saving several businesses by investing them, he was lauded by many experts and was named “Newsmaker of the Year” by RV Business Magazine.
As of 2019, Marcus Lemonis’ net worth is $900 million.