Robert B. Rowling is an American billionaire businessman and the founder of TRT Holdings, a prominent holding company that owns Omni Hotels. With a net worth of $7.5 billion as of September 2023, making him one of the wealthiest individuals in the United States.
Early Life And Education
Born in 1953 in Corpus Christi, Texas, Robert B. Rowling grew up in a business-oriented family. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and later pursued a doctorate in jurisprudence from Southern Methodist University.
Career And Business Ventures
Rowling’s career took off when he began working for Tana Oil and Gas in 1972, a company owned by his father, Reese Rowling, and William E Colson. In 1989, Texaco acquired Tana for $476 million, providing the capital to establish TRT Holdings. Five years later, TRT Holdings sold Corpus Christi National Bank to NationsBank for $131 million, showcasing Rowling’s business acumen.
TRT Holdings went on to make significant acquisitions, including the purchase of Omni Hotels for $500 million and Gold’s Gym for $180 million. Rowling’s business interests expanded further when he made a winning bid of $67.1 million to acquire the bankrupt Amelia Island Plantation Resort in 2010. Additionally, in July 2013, he purchased six resorts from KSL Resorts, including The Homestead 1766 in Hot Springs, Virginia.
Political Activities And Philanthropy
Robert B. Rowling is known for his conservative political views and has been a major donor to the Republican party. He is one of the billionaire backers of the conservative political action group American Crossroads. Rowling’s donations to American Crossroads, including a $2 million contribution, sparked protests from gay rights advocates when four San Francisco Gold’s Gym franchises split off from the brand.
TRT Holdings has also contributed $2.5 million from the company treasury during the election cycle, according to public filings. Rowling has stated that his donations to American Crossroads are focused on fiscal issues and not social policies. He has emphasized that discussions of social issues have not been a part of his involvement with the organization.
In April 2020, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Rowling to the Strike Force to Open Texas, a group tasked with finding safe and effective ways to slowly reopen the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This appointment reflects Rowling’s influence and expertise in business and economic matters.
Robert B. Rowling is married to Terry Hennersdorf Rowling, whom he met while both were studying for their bachelor’s degrees in business at the University of Texas at Austin. The couple has two children and resides in Dallas, Texas. Rowling’s personal life is characterized by his commitment to family and his successful balancing of personal and professional pursuits.
Robert B. Rowling’s Net Worth
Robert B. Rowling has amassed a substantial net worth throughout his successful career. As of September 2023, his net worth was estimated to be an impressive $7.5 billion. This places him among the wealthiest individuals in the United States.