Sam Zell

AGE: 70
OCCUPATION: Chairman, Equity Group Investments

Singed by his highly leveraged 2007 buyout of Tribune Co. (owner of this magazine)—which has been mired in bankruptcy since 2008—the fiery billionaire is back to what he does best: buying and selling real estate around the world. A new bauble: Chicago’s $95 million Elysian Hotel, which he hopes to turn into a Waldorf Astoria.

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Photograph: Charles Osgood/Chicago Tribune