Marcus Lemonis Biography
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Marcus Anthony Lemonis
Born Country: Lebanon
Born in: Beirut
Famous as: Businessman
Spouse/Ex-: Roberta “Bobbi” Raffel, Ila Penfold
father: Leo Lemonis
mother: Sophia Lemonis
City: Beirut, Lebanon
education: Marquette University (1991–1995), Christopher Columbus High School
Marcus Anthony Lemonis is an American businessman, investor, politician, as a well as a television personality. The Lebanese-born entrepreneur is the current Chief Executive Officer of companies like ‘Camping World Holdings, Inc.’, an American corporation specializing in selling recreational vehicles, recreational motor parts, and recreational motor service, ‘Good Sam Enterprises’, a provider of subscription-based products and membership clubs, targeted toward recreational vehicle and other outdoor enthusiasts in the United States, and ‘Gander Mountain Company, Inc.’, a retail network of stores for hunting, fishing, and camping. Apart from these three companies, he is also in charge of ‘The House Boardshop’ as well as the presenter of the American reality television show ‘The Profit’ that focuses on saving small businesses across the country.
- Marcus Lemonis was exposed to the automobile business from his childhood, thanks to his grandfather Anthony Abraham who owned two Chevrolet dealerships, two of the largest in the country. Lido Anthony "Lee" Iacocca, who is popularly known for spearheading the development of Ford Mustang and Pinto cars, was a family friend to the Lemonises and influenced Marcus to follow the footsteps of his grandfather. Marcus joined politics for a while after his graduation and ran for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives unsuccessfully. He later shifted his focus back to the automobile business.
- In 1997, When Marcus was working for one of his grandfather’s automobile dealers in South Florida, it was acquired by AutoNation. At this time, Lee Iacocca told him about his dream of ‘creating the largest RV chain’ and asked him to help him with his dream. Lee helped Marcus set up Holiday RV Superstores and Marcus ran the business for two years, from 2001 to 2003. He later formed his own company called FreedomRoads and began acquiring RV dealerships. In 2006, the company merged with Camping World and later with Good Sam Enterprises in 2011. As the CEO of Camping World, Lemonis collaborated with NASCAR and sponsored driver John Andretti. In 2007, Lemonis, along with Camping World, announced the takeover of the sponsorship of NASCAR East Series.
- Apart from being in the automobile business, Marcus also presented the reality television show named ‘The Profit’, in which he helped small businesses survive and even grow by helping them with funds. In return, he took a portion of the business. Rose's Bakery & Wheat Free Café is a prime example of the success of the show as the company was on the verge of closing down on the eve of Christmas 2012. Marcus funded an initial amount of US$200,000 to become the majority owner of the business which helped the company to survive. He invested an additional amount of US$150,000 over the next 18 months to ensure that the company opened a second location in Highland Park, Illinois. He also helped several other companies including ‘1-800-Car Cash’, ‘Eco-Me’, ‘Athans Motors’, ‘Sweet Pete's’, ‘Amazing Grapes’, ‘Key West Key Lime Pie Co. Key West Key Lime Pie Co.’, ‘Coopersburg Sports’, ‘SJC Drums’, ‘Standard Burger’, and ‘Grafton Furniture.’ Following his remarkable job of saving several businesses by investing in them, he was lauded by many experts and was named ‘Newsmaker of the Year’ by RV Business Magazine. He has also been involved in several philanthropic activities. He is known for helping organizations like ‘St. Jude Children's Research Hospital’, ‘Lincoln Park Zoo’, ‘Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center’, and ‘Joffrey Ballet’.
- Marcus Anthony Lemonis was born on November 16, 1973, in a war-torn Beirut, Lebanon. He was adopted by a Greek family after he lost his birth family during the civil war and the foreign invasion. His adoptive parents, Sophia Lemonis, and Leo Lemonis, were living in Miami, Florida at the time of the adoption. Marcus attended Marquette University in Milwaukee and earned his bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in criminology in 1995. He has been married twice. His first marriage to Ila Penfold took place in 2003 and ended in a divorce in 2017. A year after divorcing his first wife, he married Roberta “Bobbi” Raffel in 2018. He currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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