Famous Business Siblings

Joel Anderson  |

This last Sunday brought football fans the third installment of the Manning Bowl, pitting quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants against his older brother Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos. Things did not end well for the Giants this time(suffices to say, Eli seemed to struggle with the subtle element of quarterbacking where one only completes passes to players on their own team) and Eli is now zero for three on attempts to beat his older brother. The game was still yet another chance for the NFL to showcase the Manning brothers. Sons of longtime Saints quarterback Archie Manning, the Mannings have been in the spotlight for years, with ample media infatuation for the story of two brother having the torch of elite NFL quarterbacking passed from father to sons.

In many ways, the origin story of the Manning's family business matches those of other famous business families. However, unlike the Mannings, most famous business siblings work for the same company and don’t find themselves squaring off in the business arena. Here's a few famous business siblings working to keep the family business going.

The Koch Brothers

Charles and David Koch are, depending on which cable news station you’re watching, either angelic paragons of virtue sent to save America or demonic hell-spawn sent to destroy America. But the attention they’ve attracted for the work in the political arena often clouds the real history of their family: Koch Industries is the second-largest privately owned business in the country, trailing only Cargill in its size. With $115 billion in revenue, it would be one of the 20 biggest companies on the Fortune 500 if it were to go public.  Founded by Fred Koch, Charles and David’s father, Koch Industries manages an assortment of manufacturing, trading, and investment interests that span from oil refineries to cattle ranches. While the brothers constitute co-owners of the business, Charles (five years older than David) acts as Chairman and CEO, while David holds down the lesser role of Executive Vice President. That must make for an awkward Thanksgiving.

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The Walton Family

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) wasn’t always the world’s biggest retailer. Before it had nearly 9,000 locations, over 2 million employees, and a market cap just shy of $250 billion, it started as a small, local retailer in Arkansas. Founded in 1962 by brothers Sam Walton, a former employee of the J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) , and James Lawrence “Bud” Walton, Wal-Mart started as a single store before growing into the retail king it is today. The company these two brothers founded is now among the ten most-valuable in the world, and the Walton family still controls 48 percent of the company’s stock with Sam’s son S. Robson Walton acting as the Chairman of the Board. The Walton family’s combined stake puts their value at over $150 billion, making them the single wealthiest family in the world. While Sam’s name is the one that’s been most-associated with the company they founded together, younger brother Bud had the basketball arena for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks named for him (the Bud Walton Arena).

The McMahon Family

The McMahon family business has more in common with the Mannings than most others. Namely, bone-jarring hits and tens of thousands of screaming fans. That’s because the McMahon family controls World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) . Vincent K. “Vince” McMahon’s Titan Sports purchased the World Wrestling Federation from his father, Vincent J. McMahon, in 1982, giving rise to what would become the $1.17 billion company we now know as World Wrestling Entertainment. Vince McMahon is the third generation of McMahon’s to make their living in sports promotion (grandfather Jess promoted boxing matches in New York at the turn of the century), and his children, Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon Levesque, have represented the fourth generation to cut their own path into promotion. Shane spent 20 years working for WWE, as a wrestler, promoter, and eventually from behind the scenes before ultimately leaving the company in 2010 to become the CEO of China Broadband, Inc., now known as You On Demand Holdings, Inc. (YOD) . Not to be outdone by her older brother, Stephanie has long been a staple of juicy WWE subplots involving her, her father, and her eventual husband, Paul Levesque (better known by his stage name Triple-H). Stephanie’s first position at WWE was as a model, but she quickly worked her way up the organization, ultimately getting promoted to Executive Vice President, Creative in 2007, a position that oversees the creative process for all television and pay-per-view programming.

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