Born In: Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States
Charles Kushner is an American businessman and a real estate developer, best known as the founder of Kushner Companies. Born and raised in New Jersey, Charles hailed from a family of Polish Jews, who had immigrated to the United States following the Soviet Occupation of Poland. Charles completed his high school education and later studied law at the Hofstra University School of Law. After practising law for a few years, he took his father’s business assets and founded his own company called Kushner Companies in 1985. He was in real estate and the business thrived through the next two decades, which helped Charles amass a fortune. However, in the 2000s, his reputation took a hit when he found himself surrounded by a few controversies. He was sentenced to two years in prison in the mid-2000s, when he pled guilty on 18 charges of tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal election campaign contributions. Following these charges and imprisonment, Charles centred his attention to New York City and invested heavily in the real estate of the city. Before 2016 he liberally donated to the Democratic Party while during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he donated to Trump’s Make America Great Again PAC.
Spouse/Ex-: Seryl Kushner
father: Joseph Kushner
mother: Rae Kushner
siblings: Esther Kushner, Linda Laulicht, Murray Kushner
children: Dara Kushner, Jared Kushner, Joshua Kushner, Nicole Kushner
Born Country: United States
City: Elizabeth, New Jersey
U.S. State: New Jersey
education: Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, New York University
Charles Kushner was born Chanan Kushner, on May 16, 1954, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Rae and Joseph Kushner. His parents were Polish Jews, who had survived the holocaust. Following the Second World War in the mid-1940s, USSR occupied eastern Poland and in 1949, Charles’ parents moved to the USA from Poland.
By the time he graduated high school, his father had a well established real estate business. However, Charles Kushner was initially interested in pursuing law, which led him to move to New York to attend Hofstra University School of Law in the late 1970s. Immediately after his graduation, he began working as a lawyer. In the mid-1980s Charles began working with his father in the real estate sector.
In the mid-1980 his father had about 4,000 apartments in New Jersey under his company and Charles was given the job of managing the apartments. In the same year, in 1985, Charles founded his own company called Kushner Companies. The company had its main market in New Jersey, while Charles also focused on the New York market.
Charles Kushner became company’s chairman and his company registered good profits as by the late 1990s, Charles became known as a hotshot real estate developer. In 1999, he was honoured with an Ernst & Young New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year Award. By the early 2000s, the New Jersey headquartered company had about 10,000 residential apartments, industrial properties, commercial properties and homebuilding business.
In 2007, Charles announced that his company bought 666 Fifth Avenue, a building in New York, for $1.8 billion. The business deal was moved forward in 2006 and at the time, it was known to be the biggest deal on a building that was ever made in New York City. However, a few years later, during the time of recession, Kushner Companies faced heavy losses, which led Charles to consider demolishing the building.
He had planned to destroy the original old structure to construct a building twice as big. However, Steven Roth of Vornado came in between and strongly opposed the idea and proposed buying out shares. This led Charles to hand over 49.5% shares of the building to Vornado, another real estate company.
Following his experience with 666 Fifth Avenue, and others, Charles Kushner began focusing less on the unpredictable real estate market of New Jersey and more on the New York market.
In 2020, it was reported that a government-backed lender named Freddie Mac gave a near-record sum to Kushner Companies. The loan was of $786 million and was used by the company to purchase many properties in Virginia and Maryland.
However, the move was controversial and a conflict of interest arose as Jared Kushner, Michael’s son, was the Senior Advisor to President Donald Trump.
Following this incident, an investigation ensued on Charles and his other contributions to the electoral campaigns. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey conducted the investigation and he was found guilty of several charges. A plea agreement was reached, which had Charles pleading guilty for 18 counts of witness tampering, tax evasion and illegal contribution to the political parties during the ongoing election campaigns.
Particularly, the accusations of witness tampering brought the most media attention towards Charles. William Schulder, Charles’ brother in law, had become a witness for the wrongdoings of Charles and was cooperating with the investigators investigating the tax evasion case. Charles hired a prostitute to seduce William and had the tape sent to his sister. This witness tampering accusation brought big harm to Charles’ reputation.
Charles Kushner had been a regular donor to the Democratic Party before 2016. However, when Donald Trump ran for the Presidential elections, he lent his support to Donald.
He is a board member of Stern College for Women, Rabbinical College of America, Touro College and the United States Jewish Communities. He has donated money to Harvard University and St. Barnabas Medical Center. In addition, he also founded two schools and named them after his parents, Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School.
Charles Kushner married Seryl Stadtmauer and the couple had four children- Nicole, Jared, Joshua and Dara.
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