Edward Roski Jr. 101: The Visionary Philanthropist
Zatrun Published at June 09, 2024

Edward Roski Jr., born in 1938, is a distinguished American businessman, celebrated philanthropist, and a billionaire whose remarkable journey has left an indelible mark on various industries. As the President of Majestic Realty, he has become a prominent figure in the world of real estate, owning over 83 million square feet of prime real estate across the United States.

In 2021, he was ranked at #115 on the Forbes 400 list, a testament to his business acumen and success. With a diverse portfolio and a heart committed to philanthropy, Edward Roski Jr. has carved a legacy worth exploring. At, we had the privilege of delving into the life and accomplishments of Edward Roski Jr., uncovering the stories and achievements that have made him an iconic figure in American business.

Early Life and Education: The Making of a Visionary

Edward Roski Jr. was born in 1938, in Oklahoma, to a family with humble beginnings. His father, Ed Roski Sr., was the son of Polish immigrants who did not have the opportunity to finish high school. The family’s journey took an inspiring turn when Ed Roski Sr. served in the United States Navy during World War II and later moved the family to Southern California. There, he founded Majestic Realty in 1948, laying the foundation for the family’s future success.

Edward Roski Jr.’s educational journey began at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. He later graduated from the University of Southern California in 1962, earning a bachelor’s degree in real estate and finance. It was in 1966 that he made the pivotal decision to join Majestic Realty, the company that would become synonymous with his name.

United States Marine Corps: A Heroic Chapter

Upon graduating in 1962, Edward Roski Jr. answered the call to serve his country and enrolled in the United States Marine Corps. After completing The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, he was assigned to the First Marine Brigade and later to the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. In 1965, he was deployed to South Vietnam from Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay.

His service in Vietnam was marked by bravery and sacrifice. During Operation Starlite, Edward Roski Jr. was wounded in Chu Lai and, for his valor, was awarded a Bronze Star Medal and two Purple Hearts. His dedication to the military didn’t end with his service; he continued to support war veterans and their families by founding the Land of the Free Foundation in 2007. His contributions of over $10 million to this foundation have made a significant impact.

In recognition of his unwavering commitment to the principles of the Marine Corps, in 2000, General James L. Jones and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation honored him with the Semper Fidelis award. Furthermore, in October 2017, Edward Roski Jr. received the prestigious Circle of Honor Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.

Professional Sports Teams: A Legacy of Championships

Edward Roski Jr.’s influence extends beyond the realm of real estate and philanthropy; he is also a prominent figure in the world of professional sports. He became a minority owner of the Los Angeles Kings in 1995 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 1998. Together with Philip Anschutz, he was a majority owner of the Los Angeles Arena Company, with a vision to replace the Great Western Forum for the Kings.

During his ownership, the Lakers achieved great success, winning NBA Championships in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, and 2020, while the Kings clinched the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. His contributions to these teams’ triumphs have solidified his legacy in the world of sports.

Edward Roski Jr. also proposed a stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of the City of Industry for a National Football League team. His vision gained momentum when the California legislature passed a bill in 2010, granting an exemption to environmental review for the proposed $800 million stadium. Although this project did not come to fruition, it showcased his commitment to enhancing the sports landscape.

Philanthropy: Giving Back to the Community

Edward Roski Jr. has not only excelled in the world of business and sports but has also been deeply committed to philanthropy. He has served as Chairman and a trustee on the University of Southern California board of directors. In 2006, he and his wife made a generous donation of $23 million to the fine arts school at USC, leading to the renaming of the USC Roski School of Art and Design.

In 2016, Roski and his wife furthered their philanthropic efforts by donating $25 million to the eye institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Their contributions have significantly impacted education and medical research.

In 2002, Edward Roski Jr. established the Majestic Realty Foundation, a community outreach program with a focus on youth, family, education, health, and violence prevention. The foundation generously grants over $2 million annually, making a substantial difference in the lives of many.

Personal Life: An Adventurous Spirit

Beyond his professional and philanthropic endeavors, Edward Roski Jr. leads an adventurous life. He has embarked on bicycle journeys across various countries, including Ireland, Mongolia, Myanmar, and Russia. He even explored the wreck of the RMS Titanic in a Russian submersible and engaged in deep-sea diving in the waters off New Guinea. His adventurous spirit has also taken him to base camps at iconic mountains like Mount Everest, K2, and Mount Kilimanjaro.

His passion for space exploration led him to purchase ticket #128 on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, symbolizing his unwavering curiosity about the cosmos. Edward Roski Jr. holds the honorary title of director at The Explorers Club and plays a significant role in the National Geographic Society’s executive committee.

He has served on the boards of directors for several prominent institutions, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Bowers Museum, the California Science Center, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the House Ear Institute, and Loyola High School. His love for art is evident in his collection of African art, Indigenous Australian art, and Indigenous art from Oceania. Notably, he donated the “Spirits and Headhunters” exhibit, which is on display at the Bowers Museum.

Edward Roski Jr.: A Legacy of Excellence

In conclusion, the life and career of Edward Roski Jr. exemplify a journey of entrepreneurship, determination, and unwavering commitment to excellence. From his modest beginnings, he has risen to become a visionary businessman, a philanthropist with a generous heart, and an influential figure in the world of sports. His dedication to philanthropy, education, and community outreach has made a positive impact on countless lives.

Edward Roski Jr.’s adventurous spirit and love for exploration have taken him to the most remarkable corners of the world, both on Earth and beyond. His contributions to the arts and culture, along with his extensive philanthropic efforts, further solidify his legacy.

His legacy is not just one of business success, but one of inspiration, generosity, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Edward Roski Jr. serves as a shining example of what dedication, vision, and philanthropy can achieve, leaving a lasting imprint on society and the world.

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