Pro teams’ former owner shares story

Jerry WolmanFor immediate release: July 26, 2010

BLOOMSBURG — Shenandoah native Jerry Wolman, former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles and Flyers, will share his rags-to-riches story with high school students participating this summer in TRiO Upward Bound at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. The talk on Thursday, July 29, at 11 a.m. in McCormick Center, Room 2303, is open to the public free of charge.

Wolman’s entrepreneurial career began in the mid-1950s when he hitchhiked to Washington, D.C., with his wife. Starting out with nothing, the high school dropout was soon heralded as “the boy wonder” of real estate, making his fortune constructing apartment buildings and skyscrapers in the nation’s capital. He also purchased the National Theatre, the Raleigh Hotel and Connie Mack Stadium and owned and developed the Spectrum area in Philadelphia and the John Hancock Center in Chicago. In 1963, he became the youngest owner in the NFL when, at age 36, he purchased the Philadelphia Eagles for $5.5 million, later founding and co-owning the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers. He was instrumental in the launch of NFL Films.

Wolman’s life story – from his early success in real estate to his financial unraveling – is told in the recently released biography, “Jerry Wolman: The World’s Richest Man” by Joseph and Richard Bockol. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will benefit the Miracle League of Northampton Township, an organization that provides children with disabilities the opportunity to play sports.

Wolman’s talk is sponsored by TRiO Upward Bound, now in its 32nd year at BU. The program serves students in nine high schools from Columbia, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties who are chosen based on their academic potential and need, demonstrated enthusiasm toward learning and other eligibility requirements as determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.