What is Robert McNair’s Net Worth?
Robert McNair was an American businessman who had a net worth of $4 billion dollars at the time of his death in 2018. Born in Tampa, Florida, Robert McNair grew up in Forest City, North Carolina. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in the late 50s. He founded the energy company, Cogen Technologies, and then went on to sell it for $1.3 billion to CalPERS and Enron in the late 90s. Later in life he was the Chairman and CEO of The McNair Group, which was dedicated to real estate and financial sector ventures. He also oversaw the Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation, which provides educational funding for North Carolina-based students.
He was the Chairman of Cogene Biotech Ventures. He lived the majority of his life in Houston, Texas. He formed Houston NFL Holdings in 1998 to explore the acquisition of a professional football franchise. He successfully bid for an NFL team, and in 1999 he and his partners paid $700 million for the franchise that would become The Houston Texans. The Texas began professional play in 2002 and in his lifetime won four division titles. Robert McNair died on November 23, 2018 at the age of 80. He is survived by his wife, four children and 15 grandchildren.
Robert C. McNair, born on January 1, 1937, was an influential American businessman, philanthropist, and the proprietor of the Houston Texans, a National Football League team.
Early Life and Education
McNair’s upbringing was in Forest City, North Carolina, a small town nestled in the state’s western foothills. He advanced his education at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where he joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1958. His wife, Janice, was a student at the neighboring Columbia College.
The McNairs made Houston, Texas their home from 1960. McNair’s early professional life involved numerous entrepreneurial efforts that did not succeed until the establishment of Cogen Technologies in 1984. This cogeneration company was later sold to Enron in 1999. At the time of his passing, McNair had ownership stakes in power plants within New York and West Virginia. He also held the role of chairman and CEO of The McNair Group and owner of Palmetto Partners, Ltd. In 2000, McNair launched Cogene Biotech Ventures and served as its chairman.
His interests extended beyond American soil, as he was rumored to be considering the purchase of a UK soccer club and made an unsuccessful bid for Reading F.C. in 2014.
McNair was recognized as a major political donor, notably as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s largest donor over a period of several years, and supported numerous Republican candidates. He became embroiled in controversy over a donation towards the repeal of a Houston equal rights ordinance, which he later retracted following criticism.
Personal Life and Death
Robert McNair and Janice had a family of four children: sons Cal and Cary, and daughters Ruth and Melissa. McNair’s life ended on November 23, 2018, after a long battle with skin cancer, which had been diagnosed in 1994. He had stepped back from the day-to-day operations of the Houston Texans in his final months, leaving his wife Janice as the principal owner and their son Cal as the president and CEO of the team.