Ron Burkle

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Person.png Ron Burkle   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
BornRonald Wayne Burkle
November 12, 1952
Parents • Betty Burkle
• Joseph Burkle
SpouseJanet Steeper
Interests • Jeffrey Epstein
• Bill Clinton
PartyUS/Democratic Party
Friend of Jeffrey Epstein with own private jet, dubbed Air F*ck One

Ronald Wayne Burkle is an American businessman. He is the co-founder and managing partner of The Yucaipa Companies, LLC, a private investment firm that specializes in U.S. companies in the distribution, logistics, food, retail, consumer, hospitality, entertainment, sports, and light industrial sectors.[1][2] Burkle's net worth was estimated at US$2 billion in February 12, 2018.

In a 2019 Vanity Fair[3] article about Jeffrey Epstein, Ron Burkle was mentioned as being part of his circle:

They were always the most beautiful girls in the room, usually models or former models, with a slightly aloof Stepford Wives aura that masked a deeper vulnerability. Several names came up when they were around: Epstein, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, film financier Steve Bing, and former president Bill Clinton, then in the prime of his postpresidential career and flying around on Epstein’s jet, dubbed the Lolita Express, or Burkle’s jet, dubbed Air F*ck One.

Since December 2020 he is the owner of the famous Neverland Ranch which belonged to Michael Jackson from 1988 to 2009.


At age 21, he married Janet Steeper, a Stater Bros. clerk and great-grandniece of the aviation pioneers, the Wright brothers. They had three children together. Burkle parlayed a $3,000 investment in American Silver and another metals company into $30,000 and began investing in and flipping undervalued grocery stores. He made at least one deal with the assistance of junk bond financier Michael Milken.[4] In 1986, Burkle founded Yucaipa Companies, a private equity firm which invests in U.S. companies in the hospitality, sports, entertainment, logistics, food, consumer, light industrial, retail, manufacturing, and distribution.[5]

Burkle has invested in technology startup companies through A-Grade Investments, a venture capital fund he founded with Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary.[6]

Political activities

Burkle has personally contributed millions of dollars to the Democratic Party and raised an estimated $100 million at celebrity-studded fundraising events he hosted for Democratic Party candidates at his Green Acres Estate in Beverly Hills, California.[7][8] Burkle has hosted fundraisers for Bill and Hillary Clinton,[7][9] John Kerry, Cory Booker, and Terry McAuliffe,[10] as well as former Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,[4] among others.

In January 2011, he hosted a fundraiser to support efforts to overturn Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.[11]

In 2004, Burkle helped finance the launch of Al Gore's Current TV,[12] which was sold in January 2013 to Qatar-based cable news channel Al Jazeera.[13]

During Bill Clinton's presidency, Burkle was a key fundraiser and they became close friends.[14] In 2002, Burkle hired Clinton as a senior advisor on two Yucaipa domestic investment funds.[15] Clinton invested in a Yucaipa global fund focused on foreign companies.[15]

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