Rags to Riches Series: Roman Abramovich


Roman Abramovich was born on October 24, 1966, in Saratov, Russia. He was orphaned before the age of 4 and raised by his uncle and grandparents.

Abramovich dropped out of two different colleges before serving in the army for a short period of time. His first business venture involved selling plastic ducks from a Moscow apartment, however, within the space of a few years, he would go on to own several oil conglomerates and numerous pig farms. He was the right-hand man of Boris Berezovsky, who was a huge figure in the oil industry.

Roman grew significantly and his business acumen and power earned him a place in President Yeltsin’s inner circle. He sold his stake in Sibneft, one of Russia’s largest oil firms, with the deal thought to have made him around £1.8 billion.

Shortly after Vladimir Putin became Russia’s Prime Minister in 1999, Abramovich entered politics himself, becoming governor of the far eastern Chukotka region in 2000 after winning 92 percent of the vote.

Abramovich spent millions of his own money on schools, new housing, and infrastructure, an outlay he estimated at between £120-180 million. Although he says, “I can’t really tell how much exactly,”

Abramovich had a keen interest in sports, being a keen follower of international football, which led to him acquiring Chelsea football club and becoming a huge name in football.

He is known as being incredibly media-shy but in the same breath, incredible business savvy. His net worth is currently calculated at a staggering £7.8 billion. He also owns Boeing 767 and homes in London, France, St. Barts, New York City, and Colorado. Abramovich is a keen collector of art and his wife, Dasha Zhukova, runs a massive contemporary art museum in Moscow.

Not bad from an orphaned boy that was born in one of the remotest parts of Russia!

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