David A. Siegel Biography
Sun Sign: Taurus
Also Known As: David Alan Siegel
Born Country: United States
Born in: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Famous as: President of Westgate Resorts
Spouse/Ex-: Jackie Siegel (m. 2000), Bettie Irene Tucker (m. 1970–1997), Geraldine Florence Sanstrom (m. 1961–1968)
father: Sid Siegel
mother: Sadelle Siegel
children: Daniel Siegel, David Siegel, Debbie Siegel, Drew Siegel, Jacqueline Siegel, Jonquil Siegel, Jordan Siegel, Richard Siegel, Steven Siegel, Susan Siegel, Valerie Siegel, Victoria Siegel
City: Chicago, Illinois
U.S. State: Illinois
David Alan Siegel is an American business owner who is the founder and current CEO and president of Westgate Resorts Ltd, a Florida-based timeshare resort firm. He also serves as the CEO of CFI Resorts Management Inc. and Central Florida Investments Inc. His other business ventures are in real estate, construction, hotel and apartment management, travel services, insurance, transportation, and retail. An Illinois native, Siegel was raised in Florida. He studied at Miami Senior High School before enrolling at the University of Miami to study marketing and management. However, he eventually quit school. In 1970, Siegel launched CFI from his family garage. In 1982, he established the Westgate family of resorts by inaugurating a 16-unit resort at Westgate Vacation Villas. Since then, the company has set up branches in 28 different locations across the United States. The award-winning 2012 documentary film, ‘The Queen of Versailles’, was made on Siegel, his wife Jackie, and their Versailles house. He previously owned the arena-football team the Orlando Predators.
- Born on May 3, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, David A. Siegel is the son of Sadelle and Sidney “Sid” Siegel. His father was a grocer. In 1945, Sid Siegel relocated his family and business to Miami.
- David was raised in Florida along with his brother Barry and attended Miami Senior High School. After obtaining his high-school diploma in 1953, he began pursuing a degree in marketing and management at the University of Miami. At some point, he dropped out and started working.
- In 1970, David A. Siegel established CFI, a real estate development firm, in his family garage. Twelve years later, the Westgate family of resorts was launched by setting up a 16-unit resort at Westgate Vacation Villas. Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa was inaugurated in 1996. A year later, Westgate Towers was established.
- Siegel opened Westgate Town Center and Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa in 1999; Westgate Flamingo Bay in 2001; Westgate Blue Tree Resort, Westgate Park City Resort & Spa, and Westgate River Ranch in 2002; and Westgate Palace and Westgate Historic Williamsburg in 2003. At present, Westgate Resorts is comprised of over 13,500 villas at 28 full-service resorts.
- In 2014, Siegel was named the CEO of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal. In 2016, Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort sustained heavy fire damage and was closed for a period.
- In June 2018, Siegel purchased the former Hilton New York Grand Central, situated in the historic Tudor City neighbourhood within Midtown Manhattan's East Side, and renamed it as Westgate New York Grand Central.
- Siegel, along with several others, set up the Orlando-based attraction Mystery Fun House, which became operational on March 28, 1976. It was open until 2001. The 2002 film ‘Night Terror’, which Siegel produced, was shot within the MFH.
- A life-long Republican, David A. Siegel was a staunch supporter of George W. Bush during the 2000 US elections and actively campaigned for him. Whenever he found a negative article on Al Gore, Bush’s Democratic rival, he sent it along with the paychecks to his 8000 employees.
- If an employee preferred Bush, the company helped him or her to register for voting. Bush won the election with 527 votes from Florida. According to Siegel, he convinced one thousand of his employees to vote who would not have otherwise.
- During the 2012 US elections, Siegel became the subject of controversy and public debate when he, in a mass email, asked his employees to vote for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. He wrote that he might have to implement drastic measures, like cutting back on the company’s workforce, if they did not. In 2015, he increased the company’s minimum wage to $10 per hour.
- In 2008, Siegel was ordered to pay $610,000 to former Westgate employee Dawn Myers after a jury named him liable in the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Myers. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit threw out an appeal and cross-appeal, upholding the district court's judgement.
- In 2012, ‘The Queen of Versailles’, a documentary made on David, his current wife Jackie, and their Versailles house, a 90,000-square-foot (8,400 square metres) residential construction project in Florida, was released. The film portrayed Siegel and his family in an unflattering light, which prompted the hotel baron to unsuccessfully sue the filmmakers.
- David A. Siegel is Jewish. He has been married three times in his life. His first wife was Geraldine Florence Sanstrom, to whom he was married from 1961 to 1968. Their three children are Steven, Valerie, and Richard.
- In 1970, he exchanged wedding vows with Bettie Irene Tucker. Their daughter’s name is Susan "Stacey" Siegel. During this period, Siegel relocated to Orlando. He and Tucker parted ways in 1997. He had the custody of all his children.
- His third and current wife is Jacqueline "Jackie" Mallery, whom he met in 1998. They tied the knot in 2000 in a Jewish ceremony. However, Jackie is not Jewish.
- They had seven children together: Victoria (born 1996), David (1997), Daniel (2001), Debbie (2002), Drew (2004), and the twins Jacqueline and Jordan (2007). They have also adopted a girl named Jonquil Peed. In 2015, their daughter, Victoria, passed away after a drug overdose.
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