The Miami Heat owner is the #189th richest man in the world, cruise tycoon Micky Arison.
The son of the late Ted Arison, from whom he inherited his growing fortune, Micky Arison is the Chief Executive Officer of the Carnival Corporation.
Carnival is a conglomeration of eleven cruise line brands that operates 88 ships and runs cruises to and from North America, Europe, Panama, and Australia, and the company pulled a net income of $175 million in the first quarter of 2010. Arison has shown that he can successfully manage both a growing, adapting company and a high-caliber, playoff-contending team.
Arison took over his father’s company in 1979, when he was just 30 years old. As president, he started out with a devil-may-care attitude and a party atmosphere about his company, but he quickly came to realize that the business was not going to be all fun and games.
He took the company public in 1987 and generated $400 million for future expansion. In 2002, Carnival Cruise Lines (one of the eleven lines covered by Carnival Corporation) outfitted the cruise ships of choice for one third of all North American cruise-ship passengers.
Despite downturns in the economy, Arison’s company remains lucrative, as it is one of the top choices for cruises in the areas it covers.
Arison took over as the Miami Heat owner in 1995, taking over from his father Ted, who brought the team to South Florida in 1988.
Along with coach Pat Riley, Arison helped orchestrate the largest trade in NBA history, which involved thirteen players and brought James Posey, Antoine Walker, and Jason Williams to Miami — the last pieces the Heat needed to pull of a successful championship run.
Arison’s keen head for business has made the Miami franchise into one of the most elite and competitive in the league, and he made it possible for the Heat to continue playing in Miami by successfully negotiating the construction of the county-owned AmericanAirlines Arena.
Since becoming owner, Arison has hired three head coaches: Pat Riley, Stan Van Gundy, and Erik Spoelstra. Fourteen seasons of ownership has seen the Heat make the playoffs eleven times and take seven division titles, one conference title, and one Larry O’Brien Championship trophy against the Dallas Mavericks in 2006.
Arison offered Shaquille O’Neal a $100 million, 5-year contract extension in 2005, the biggest contract he has extended to a player during his time as owner.
Though he is known by NBA fans as the Miami Heat owner, Arison is also known as one of the most philanthropic billionaires in the United States. He resides in the Miami area (making him the richest Florida resident) and is very dedicated to supporting the arts and service organizations in his community, such as the Miami City Ballet, the American Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, among many others.
When the Haiti earthquake devastated the little island nation, Arison donated $5 million towards relief efforts through the Carnival Corporation.
Arison served as chairman on the NBA Board of Directors for three years starting in October 2005, so he has an intimate knowledge of the league. He is married to Madeleine Arison and has two grown children; the four of them can often be seen sitting courtside together at Heat games.
Though he attended the University of Miami, he dropped out to work at Carnival Corporation. He was awarded the highest citizen honor by French President Jacques Chirac and is an “Officer of the French Legion of Honor” for his contributions to the cruise industry.
His sister, Shari Arison, is Israel’s richest citizen, thanks to the share in Israel’s Bank Hapoalim she inherited from their father.