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Robert K. Kraft: Businessman and Dedicated Sports Fan

February 2, 2013 Enterprise No Comments

Robert K. Kraft was born on June 5, 1941 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was a scholar at Columbia University and graduated in 1963.  Kraft obtained his MBA degree from Harvard Business School in 1965.

He started working at Randy-Whitney Group a packaging company owned by his father-in-law and he still serves as the company chairman. Kraft founded International Forest Products in 1972. The company is a physical trader of paper commodities.  These two combine companies constitute the largest privately held paper and packaging company in the U.S.

While a successful businessman Kraft is better known as the owner of the Patriots. He has been a fan of this team since its American Football League day. Since 1971, Kraft has been a season ticket holder. In what Kraft said required a leap of faith he purchased the struggling Patriots for a then NFL-record $ 175 million. This was a surprising because at the time the Patriots were among the least valuable franchises in the NFL but it prevented the moving of the Patriots to St. Lois.

The NFL approved the sale in January 1994 and the following day Patriot fans purchased around 6,000 season tickets as their sign of appreciation. Every home game whether preseason, regular season, and postseason have been sold out since then.  Since Kraft purchased the team they have made the playoffs 12 times in 17 years.

The leap of faith has proven to be a very profitable and emotionally rewarding move for Kraft.


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