NAME: Carl Icahn
AGE, BIRTHPLACE: 78; Queens, New York
CAREER: Started as a stockbroker at Dreyfus & Co. in 1961. Founded Icahn & Co. in 1968. Launched first corporate raid in 1978, targeting kitchen-appliance maker Tappan. Under pressure, the company eventually sold out to Sweden’s AB Electrolux and Icahn sold his shares for a $2.7 million profit. Later targets included RJR Nabisco, Time Warner, Texaco and Priceline.com. Considered a pioneer of so-called greenmail raid in which investors buy a company’s stock and threaten a hostile takeover unless they’re paid a premium to go away.
WEALTH: Net worth exceeds $20 billion, making him America’s 18th-wealthiest person, according to Forbes magazine.
RECENT ACTIVISM: Herbalife, which makes supplements and weight-loss products, agreed to nominate three Icahn-backed candidates for its board. Attempted to pressure Apple Inc. to buy back its own stock. Fought unsuccessfully to get e-commerce company eBay to spin off all or part of its PayPal unit.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s in philosophy from Princeton University, 1957. Dropped out of New York University School of Medicine
FAMILY: Second wife Gail Golden Icahn, his former assistant; two children, Brett and Michelle, from first marriage, which ended in 1999.