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Who is Robert Kraft?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2016
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Born on 5 June 1941 in Brookline, Massachusetts, Robert K. Kraft is a well-known businessperson and founder of the Kraft Group. As such, Robert Kraft oversees a corporate empire that produces a wide range of paper and packaging products, entertainment products and events, and a major investment in sports. Kraft is also associated with a number of investments, including real estate and equity projects.

Robert Kraft received his education at Columbia University, graduating in 1963. Kraft continued on to Harvard, where he earned an MBA from the business school in 1965. His entry into the business world was with the Rand-Whitney Group, which he later acquired. By 1972, Robert Kraft had founded International Forest Products, which served as a trading entity in paper commodities. Kraft retains control of both entities today, which provides him with a prestigious place in the paper industry around the world. Kraft paper is considered to be of the highest quality and is often thought to be the standard for the industry in general.

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Along with his presence in the paper industry, Robert Kraft is also well known in the sports world. A longtime fan of the New England Patriots, Kraft began to purchase options in Sullivan Stadium in 1985, which was at the time the home stadium for the team. Eventually, Robert Kraft bought the stadium after the owners declared bankruptcy and renamed the facility Foxboro Stadium in 1990. These actions laid the groundwork for the eventual acquisition of the Patriots themselves, which was accomplished in 1994. Robert Kraft’s acquisition of the Pats also helped to ensure that the team would remain based in New England.

Robert Kraft has continued to expand his presence in the sports world. In 1996, he founded the New England Revolution, a major league soccer team. Kraft also expressed interest in English football, or soccer, in recent years, although investment plans did not bear fruit. The Kraft Family Stadium opened in Jerusalem in 2000, and provides facilities for a wide range of sporting events. In recognition of his generous support to the athletics program at Columbia University, the playing field at the Lawrence A. Wren Stadium was named the Robert K. Kraft Field in 2007.

Robert Kraft is well known for his philanthropic works as well. Along with support to his alma maters, Kraft is a regular contributor to Boston College, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Married since 1964, Robert Kraft and his wife Myra are known to have donated millions of dollars to a number of charities and organizations that are actively engaged in health care issues, youth sports, and support services for children and women.

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Animandel
Post 4

@Feryll - I was watching one of the sports news shows on TV with my son and the talking heads were going back and forth about professional football. One of the reporters said Robert Kraft was the most influential owner in the National Football League. I asked my son which team Robert Kraft owned, and he had no idea.

I don't think many sports fans pay attention to the owners of the clubs. Of course, there are some notable exceptions, but in general who cares who owns the teams?

Drentel
Post 3

@Feryll - If you are a football fan and that's all you know of Robert Kraft then your perception of the man might be influenced by what happens with his football team, but I bet most people who know him don't see the team as a perfect reflection of the man. Most people probably know him from his businesses and his charity work, and he seems to be pretty successful in both of those areas.

By the way, the New England Patriots are one of the most successful football teams in the history of the NFL since Kraft bought them, so I don't think owning them will hurt his legacy at all.

Feryll
Post 2

I only know Robert Kraft as the owner of the New England Patriots. From reading this article, I am left with the impression that he is a well respected person and that he does a great deal of good to help other people. I have a great deal of respect for people who use their success to help other individuals become successful.

This being said, I find it a bit ironic that the Patriots are a team that has been labeled cheaters by some over the last several years because of a couple of scandals they have been involved in. It would be a shame for Robert Kraft's image to be tarnished by the actions of the people involved with his football team.

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