By Patrick Magoon
A young, humble man from Stanton Heights neighborhood in Pittsburgh, PA who could not afford to attend a professional football game until well into his 20’s is now the owner of the Carolina Panthers franchise. David Alan Tepper, American investor and hedge fund investor, has officially purchased the Carolina Panthers franchise for a record $2.275 million. Contingent upon finishing up the sale of his 5% minority stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, Tepper will be welcomed with open arms as a new NFL owner on May 22nd in Atlanta.
“I am thrilled to have been selected to be the next owner of the Carolina Panthers,” Tepper said via ESPN. “I have learned a great deal about the community and the team over the past several months and look forward to becoming part of the Carolinas. I want to thank Jerry Richardson and the other Panthers partners for all they have done to establish and develop the NFL in the Carolinas. It has been a remarkable 25-year journey and I promise to build upon the Panthers’ success on the field and in the community.”
The official purchase of the Panthers was a bittersweet moment for Tepper. Tepper was never handed wealth. He wasn’t born into a wealthy family. He worked several part-time jobs during his high school and college years to help pay for graduate school.
Yesterday, Tepper returned to Carnegie Mellon University to give a commencement address, where he merited a Master’s Degree in 1982. During his speech, Tepper held back tears as he reflects on the abusive relationship between him and his father. His father taught him several great life lessons; however, Tepper added he “had a bad side, too.”
“He was physically abusive to me.”
“In my young life, there was nothing more terrifying,” Tepper continued, fighting back tears. “There was no greater adversity, but I prayed to God that I would never be the same to my children.”
Tepper’s father worked overtime to ensure that there was always food on the table for his family. His father taught Tepper two crucial life lessons, to continue to be charitable, and treat everyone with respect. The CMU business school was named after Tepper after he generously donated $55 million to the university in 2014.
His most significant achievement in life is not the creation of Appaloosa Management, his Miami-based hedge fund worth an estimated $17 billion. Rather, the beautiful family he has raised.