The King of Real-Estate Businesses: The story of Donald Bren


Real estate sector is the one line that never seems to go out of business and Donald Bren is one of the name that has very well weaved this thing in his head and when it comes to world of American Real Estate, Donald Bren is the undisputed heavyweight champion and also the famous real estate entrepreneurs in the world. Bren started out small and founded the Bren company which was a small group that constructed homes and following the success and acquisition, Bren along with a group of investors purchased a California based real estate investment firm known as Irvine Company.

Donald Bren’s life summary.

Early life

Bren was born and brought up into a wealthy family. His parents were successful in their own fields. His father was a producer in Hollywood while Bren’s mother was an influential civic leader. Bren’s parents got divorced at an early age of Bren.


To keep the children grounded and unspoiled, Bren’s parents had enrolled him in a public school where he was used to work during school vacations and help their father conduct repairs on his rental properties. Bren graduated with a degree of Business Administration. Also he financed his own tuition and a skiing scholarship.


With the skiing scholarship that Bren had earned led him to the National Alpine Ski Championships and later he applied to join the U.S. Skiing team for the Olympics but due to the injuries in an accident, he wasn’t able to participate in the Olympics.

Career beginning

Donald Bren first served as an officer in the Marine Cop and then he started with his own venture and he founded Bren company, a property development firm that built houses in Orange Country, California and then sold the homes that he developed and reinvested the profits into new developments. As a result of this, Bren’s company’s size increased significantly over time.

Gaining back one’s own company

The largest pulp and paper company in the world acquired Bren Company leaving him with nothing but fortunately recession hit the state which resulted in a dramatic fall in property values and it gave Bren the opportunity to re-purchase his own company from international paper and that to on a much lower cost than what he sold for.

The Irvine Takeover

Following the death of the Irvine ranch owner, the company was up for sale and many companies have extended their hands to acquire the company and at the same time, Bren also step ahead to acquire the company but was falling short of money and following he partnered with a prominent shopping center developer who agreed to put up the down payment for sale and Bren successfully acquired the Irvine company.

The success path

With the takeover of the much demanding company Irvine, Bren purchased the remaining shares and became the owner of the company. The Irvine company was one of the most respected and well-known real-estate companies in the United States. Bren with Irvine had taken the real-estate world into another new level and that becomes unbeatable, even by its rivals.


Many universities in and around California have benefited from donations made by Bren. Apart from education, he is also known for his efforts in the green business, where he has donated money for environment-friendly technologies and groups.

The bottom line

Donald Bren made his fortune in real estate. After graduating from college with a business degree, he started a property development firm that he eventually sold for millions of dollars. Bren later partnered with a group of investors to purchase a real estate company. Today he is the wealthiest real estate developer in the United States.


Being in the business of real estate property from a long time, Bren learned that holding on to a property for a very long time will create better values and something tangible can be shown up.

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