Richest Floridians: The Top 25
1 Fred DeLuca, 65
$5.4 billion - Fort Lauderdale, Subway
Jared lost the weight, but Fred DeLuca has grown fat on the profits. Subway co-founder DeLuca’s Doctor’s Associates, the Subway franchiser, is based in Miami Springs, but most of Subway’s direct employees are in DeLuca’s home state of Connecticut. His foundation does its giving there. Subway franchisees employ an estimated 15,000 in Florida at nearly 1,500 locations.
Beyond Subway, DeLuca was expected to have his biggest impact on Florida in the hinterlands. He teamed with Palm Beach County developer Anthony Pugliese III to develop Destiny, a 41,000-acre development near Yeehaw Junction in Osceola County. Championed by the Clinton Climate Initiative and self-described as “America’s first eco-sustainable city,” Destiny was massive — larger in land area than Miami and Disney. DeLuca invested $111 million, but the project hasn’t taken off. Pugliese was arrested last year on charges that he faked invoices to bilk DeLuca out of $1.2 million.
2 Micky Arison, 63
$5.2 billion - Miami, Carnival
Born in Israel, Arison grew up in the Carnival cruise business founded by his father, Ted, in Florida. Carnival has had its black eyes of late — a capsizing in Italy, an engine fire off Mexico and a slow, stinky tow to Alabama for passengers of the Triumph. But Arison’s cruise colossus has made a substantial impact on Florida ports and employment. It employs 3,000 in Florida. Arison also owns the Miami Heat; son Nick Arison now is CEO. The list of charities that have relied on the Arisons is long.
3 Dirk Ziff, 48
$4.2 billion - North Palm Beach, magazines
The eldest son of the builder of Ziff-Davis publishing, Dirk and his brothers took the inheritance and started New York-based Ziff Brothers Investments.
4 William Koch, 72
$4 billion - Palm Beach, Oxbow Carbon
A western history buff, art aficionado and an America’s Cup winner, Koch didn’t make his mint in Florida but, rare for a relocated billionaire, he put his Oxbow Carbon headquarters here — doubly rare considering it doesn't deal in Florida resources but in things like coal and coke. It employs 250 locally. Wanting a more elite education for his family, among other things, he bankrolled Oxbridge Academy, a private school in West Palm Beach, pledging $50 million and funding scholarships for students who can’t afford it. The $50 million, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, was the largest gift to any Florida cause in 2011.
Koch is married to Bridget Rooney, granddaughter of Steelers founder Art Rooney and part of the Rooney family, which has extensive involvement in Palm Beach business and politics. Koch’s political donations are well known, and his philanthropy is widespread. He had Katy Perry sing at his house for his wife’s birthday party.
5 Malcolm Glazer, 84
$3.6 billion - Palm Beach, real estate/sports
Glazer lives across the state from the Tampa Bay home of his Bucs NFL franchise. He also owns the most valuable sports franchise in the world, Manchester United, from which he took $100 million in an IPO last year. A self-made man without a college degree, he made his money in real estate before going into sports, buying the hapless Bucs and building the team into a Super Bowl winner in 2003, the last time a Florida team has won one. His First Allied has 6.7 million square feet of real estate, according to its website. His philanthropy through the Glazer Family Foundation includes the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa. A stroke in 2006 left him impaired; his children run his business.