Childhood & Early Life
Sam was born to Charles Wyly, Sr. and Flora Wyly on 4th October, 1934, in Lake Providence, Louisiana. He belonged to a poor family and provided a helping hand in his parents’ printing press.
The boy completed his schooling and enrolled at the ‘Louisiana Tech University’, and after completing graduation, he joined the ‘Ross School of Business’ of the ‘University of Michigan’. He then completed his MBA in 1957, from this prestigious university.
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Soon after completing his post-graduation, this young man travelled to Dallas and got employed at the ‘Service Bureau Corporation’ of the world-renowned firm ‘IBM’ as a salesman.
He joined the ‘Honeywell International, Inc.’, after working at ‘IBM’ for about three and a half years as an area sales manager.
In 1963, he founded the computer service providing company named ‘University Computing Company’ (UCC). The initial investment in the company was just $1,000 and it dealt with only three customers. The following years saw rapid increase in company’s sales.
Sam, along with his brother Charles Wyly, purchased the chain of restaurants named ‘Bonanza Steakhouse' in 1967. After about twenty five years, they sold the chain and at that time it included around 600 restaurants.
He bought the company ‘Gulf Insurance’ in 1968, and around the same time, he co-founded the firm ‘Earth Resource Company’, where he remained the Executive Committee Chairman for more than twenty decades.
In 1970, he acquired the company ‘Computer Technology’ at $40 million, which was the data processing in-house division of ‘Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV).
He traded a computer terminal to the company ‘Harris-Intertype’ in 1972 and also became an investor in it. The following year, he expanded the ‘University Computing Company’ (UCC), into four companies.
This man was the co-founder of the company ‘Sterling Software’ in 1981, and the following year, he purchased the controlling interest of ‘Michaels’, which is an arts and crafts chain. From a company worth $10 million, it grew to become worth billions and after twenty decades when it was sold to ‘Bain Capital’ and ‘Blackstone Group’, it was about worth $6 billion.
In 1986, he acquired the retail chain named ‘Frost Bros’, but within three years the company was dissolved, owing to bankruptcy protection.
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He was a co-founder of the firm ‘Maverick Capital’, which was established in 1990, and about thirteen years later, this company had assets worth $8 billion.
Wyly was the individual who held highest amount of stocks of the institution called ‘Green Mountain Energy’, by 2006. During the same time, he was the person who invested the highest amount of funds in the social networking firm ‘Zaadz.com’.
In 2007, he along with his brother Charles Wyly bought the bookstores named ‘Bistro’ and ‘Explore Booksellers’. The following year, he wrote the book named ‘1,000 Dollars & an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire’.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1960, Wyly married a lady named Rosemary but the couple separated after approximately fifteen years of being together.
The ‘Sam Wyly Foundation’ was established by him in 1968, to help entrepreneurs who owned startup companies with their endeavors.
In 1978, he married a woman named Victoria L. Steele, but this relationship too did not last long.
The ‘Charles Wyly Sr. Tower of Learning’ located in the ‘Louisiana Tech’ campus, was funded by Sam and his brother. He also provided funds to the ‘University of Michigan’ for the construction of the ‘Sam Wyly Hall’.
This businessman married a third time in 2006, to a woman named Cheryl. Sam Wyly had totally fathered six children through both these relationships.
He and his brother were engaged in many philanthropic works and also donated funds to political parties.
The ‘Securities and Exchange Commission’ investigated against the Wyly brothers and after years of investigation, they found Sam and Charles guilty of the charges of violating several laws related to Federal security.
Following this, Sam lost a case against the ‘SEC’ and filed for bankruptcy. In 2015, he was charged of income tax evasion and both he as well as his late brother were charged by the ‘Internal Revenue Service’. However, Sam’s lawyer termed the charges null and void.
This businessman also co-wrote a book named ‘Texas Got It Right!’, which was published in 2012.