Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, an entrepreneur and international investor, was born in 1955 on March 7 in Saudi Arabia. He is the second son of Prince Talal. In 1979, he completed Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Menlo College and in1985; he received master degree in social science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University. He has also received an honorary PhD from the University of Exeter. His father was the brother of the king of Saudi Arabia, his parental grandfather Abdulaziz ibn Saud formed the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and maternal grandfather was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Lebanon. He is widely known as a self-made billionaire who crossed the billion dollar mark at the age of 31.
He built up his large fortune by investing money in industries such as banking and finance, construction, media, hotels, technology and entertainment. From childhood, he has been intelligent with sharp mind and exceptional command over English, French and Arabic.
He possesses many aircrafts such as an Airbus 321, a Hawker Siddeley 125 and a Boeing 747 for private use and has the yacht Kingdom 5KR, with a helicopter on board. By the end of 2012 he will have the world’s largest passenger aircraft an Airbus A380.
Alsaud has 100 percent stake in Rotana Video & Audio Visual Company, 7 percent of Al Nahar and 25 percent of Al Diyar, 7 percent of News Corp (Fox News); about 6 percent of Citigroup, 90 percent ownership of Lebanese Broadcasting Center ( LBCSAT ), 95 percent stake in Kingdom Holding Company and two daily newspaper of Lebanon.
He contributes to centers of American studies and research in Middle East universities and centers of Islamic studies in western universities to improve the standard of education and eliminate the distance between Islamic and Western communities
In 2001, after September 11 attack in New York, he contributed $10 million for the recovery
He donated $17 million to victims of 2005 Indian Ocean earthquake
He has contributed $20 million to Harvard University in 2009
He contributed 18.5 million British pounds to Palestinian family victimized by Israel violence in 2002.
According to Forbes Magazine 2010, he is the world’s 19th richest man whose net worth is $19.4 billion. Time Magazine has given his nickname as the Arabian Warren Buffett
Written by: Mousumi Kumar Saha