Mikhail Prokhorov: 10 Astounding Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Many people are familiar with Mikhail Prokhorov—Russian tycoon, former owner of the Brooklyn Nets, and one-time Russian presidential candidate. However, few know about the less publicized aspects of his life, making him an enigmatic personality shrouded in mystery. We’re about to reveal 10 surprising things about this six-foot-eight billionaire that you probably didn’t know. Stick around, it’s going to get interesting.

1. Former NBA Team Owner

Many know that Prokhorov had a stint in the NBA, but it might come as a surprise to some that he was the first non-North American owner of an NBA team. In 2010, Prokhorov acquired a controlling interest in the New Jersey Nets, later moving the team to Brooklyn, ushering in a new era for the struggling franchise.

His ownership was not without criticism, facing allegations of lacking a clear strategy for the team. However, during his time, Prokhorov managed to secure several top players and a new home, the Barclays Center, for the Nets. He sold his majority stake in the team in 2019 to Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai.

2. Avid Fitness Freak

Mikhail Prokhorov is a fitness freak; a fact reflected in his towering six-foot-eight stature. He practices various forms of physical fitness, including martial arts, jet-skiing, and kickboxing. His dedication to physical well-being serves as an inspiration for many.

Interestingly, he is also known for implementing innovative training regimes. For instance, he introduced the entire Nets team to a Russian exercise routine involving training with wall bars and parallel bars. His love for fitness is believed to contribute to his energetic performance in business dealings and political campaigns.

3. Multilingual

Aside from his native Russian tongue, Prokhorov is fluent in French and English, demonstrating his cultural and intellectual versatility. These linguistic skills have undoubtedly been advantageous in his international business dealings, helping him secure deals and foster strategic relationships.

The fact that he speaks multiple languages, however, is a lesser-known fact about him, mostly overshadowed by his towering physical presence and flamboyant personality.

4. Charity Donor

Prokhorov isn’t just about spending money on investments and luxury. He is also a well-known philanthropist. The billionaire businessman has donated millions to different charitable organizations, primarily focusing on education, culture, and sports.

He founded the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation in 2004, which supports various cultural initiatives in Russia. Moreover, the foundation annually awards the ‘New Culture’ award to individuals contributing uniquely to the contemporary culture movement in Russia.

5. Political Ambitions

Prokhorov’s ventures aren’t restricted to just business. He once ran for the Russian presidency against Vladimir Putin. Although his political campaign was unsuccessful, it showcased his ambition and fearlessness. His political platform focused on economic liberalization, privatization of state assets, and political transparency.

Moreover, Prokhorov also founded his political party, the “Civic Platform”, promoting the idea of a transparent government and equal opportunities for all Russian citizens.

6. No Smoking, No Drinking

Contrary to the propensity of many billionaires to toast their success with expensive champagne, Prokhorov abstains from alcohol. He also doesn’t smoke. These disciplines, in part, contribute to his strict fitness regimen and overall healthful lifestyle.

Such habits are rare among the world’s wealthiest individuals, but they set Prokhorov apart, revealing another layer to his unconventional, driven personality.

7. A Brush with the Law

In 2007, Prokhorov ran afoul of the French authorities. He was arrested at the ritzy ski resort of Courchevel and charged with providing prostitutes to his friends. Though the charges were eventually dropped, the incident put a significant dent in his reputation.

Prokhorov has faced other legal challenges, including fallout from his political activities and business dealings. However, as always, he managed to weather the storms, emerge stronger, and continue pursuing his varied interests with characteristic gusto.

8. The Richest Man in Russia

For a brief period in 2008, Prokhorov was crowned the richest man in Russia. His wealth, estimated over $20 billion at that time, came from his investments in precious metals and his shareholder stakes in various successful companies.

Despite recent fluctuations, Prokhorov’s net worth continues to stand tall, making him one of the wealthiest individuals not just in Russia, but in the world.

9. Technology Innovator

Prokhorov is interested in technology and innovation. He invested heavily in Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank, which has funded numerous technological startups enhancing Russia’s technological landscape.

One of his significant investments was in the hybrid car manufacturer E-Mobile, signifying his interest in environmentally sustainable technology. However, the project was retired in 2014 due to a lack of profitability.

10. Bachelor Billionaire

Mikhail Prokhorov is known for maintaining a fiercely private personal life. What we do know is that he is one of the wealthiest bachelors in the world. Despite rumors linking him to several women, Prokhorov has never married, positioning him as one of the most eligible bachelors in the billionaire club.

Prokhorov’s bachelor status is just another quirk that adds to the enigmatic aura surrounding this powerful, multifaceted individual who continuously defies the stereotype of a traditional billionaire.

In conclusion, while Mikhail Prokhorov’s public demeanor may give the impression of a typical billionaire, an inspection of his life reveals a man who is anything but typical. This towering figure is indeed a man of many facets, and as we’ve discovered, full of delightful surprises.

For more information, please visit:
Mikhail Prokhorov Profile on Forbes
Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation