In our article titled “Who is Robert Rowling 101: Famous American Billionaire Businessman?” on Zatrun.com, we will delve into everything you need to know about the famous American billionaire businessman, Robert Rowling.
Who is Robert Rowling?
Robert B. Rowling (born 1953) is an American billionaire businessman and the founder of TRT Holdings, the parent company of Omni Hotels. A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Robert Rowling has an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University. He is married to Terry Hennersdorf Rowling and they reside in Dallas, Texas with their two children. The couple met while studying for their bachelor’s degrees in business at the University of Texas at Austin.
Unveiling the Path: A Personal Career Journey
Robert Rowling began working at Tana Oil and Gas, owned by Reese Rowling and William E Colson, in 1972. In 1989, Texaco purchased Tana for $476 million, which provided the funds for the formation of TRT Holdings. Five years later, TRT Holdings sold Corpus Christi National Bank to NationsBank for $131 million. Subsequently, TRT Holdings acquired Omni Hotels for $500 million and Gold’s Gym for $180 million. In August 2010, Rowling won the bid to purchase the bankrupt Amelia Island Plantation Resort for $67.1 million. In July 2013, Rowling acquired six vacation resorts, including The Homestead 1766, from KSL Resorts.
Due to the debates surrounding the bonuses paid to the UTIMCO investment team, Robert Rowling served as a Texas University System regent until February 2009. Governor Rick Perry and Texas state senators had sought to cancel compensation agreements made with staff. Unwilling to break the contracts and frustrated with the grandstanding, Rowling resigned during a Texas Senate Finance Committee meeting, followed by an official resignation letter the next day. As of May 2017, Rowling’s net worth was $6.7 billion, making him the 82nd richest person in the United States.
As a conservative Republican, Rowling is a significant donor to the party. He is also one of four billionaire supporters of the conservative political action group American Crossroads. According to an article published by Forbes, Rowling withdrew four San Francisco Gold’s Gym franchises from the brand after donating $2 million to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads PAC, which drew protests from gay rights advocates. This donation was entirely separate from TRT Holdings and was given in excess of $2 million as a private donation. According to public records, TRT Holdings also made an additional $2.5 million donation from the company’s treasury during that election cycle.
Rowling told Fox News that his donation to American Crossroads had nothing to do with any socially divisive issues. “I haven’t heard any debate about any social issue. This is entirely about fiscal sanity.” In April 2020, Governor Greg Abbott announced that Rowling was among those included in the Strike Force to Open Texas, tasked with finding “safe and effective ways” to gradually reopen the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.