Basic Information About Sol Kerzner
|Date of birth
|Place of birth
|Date of death
|2020-03-21 (aged 84)
The Legacy of Sol Kerzner: A Visionary Entrepreneur
In March 202, a trailblazer in the hospitality and tourism industry, Sol Kerzner, bid farewell after leaving an indelible mark on the world of luxury resorts. From his humble beginnings in Durban, South Africa, to shaping iconic destinations worldwide, Kerzner’s innovative spirit propelled him to become a prominent figure in the business world. Let’s delve into fascinating details about his net worth, remarkable achievements, and the captivating journey that defined his life.
Net Worth Details
At the time of his passing, Sol Kerzner had amassed a net worth of $600 million. As the Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Kerzner International Holdings Limited, he played a pivotal role in establishing two renowned hotel groups in South Africa, Sun International and the Southern Sun Hotel Group. Kerzner’s vision and shrewd business acumen revolutionized the tourism industries of multiple countries including South Africa, Mauritius, the Maldives, Dubai, and the Bahamas. His contributions were acknowledged in 201 when he was honored as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) for his outstanding achievements in both business and community development in the Bahamas.
What is Sol Kerzner known for?
A true pioneer, Sol Kerzner is best known for his trailblazing initiatives in the hospitality industry. With an eye for luxury and a commitment to delivering unparalleled experiences, he shaped some of the most incredible destinations on the planet. From South Africa’s first five-star hotel to the world-renowned Atlantis resorts, Kerzner revolutionized the way people vacation.
Early Life and Education
Solomon Kerzner was born on August 23, 1935, in Durban, South Africa. Raised in a family of Russian Jewish immigrants who owned a kosher hotel chain, Kerzner inherited a passion for the hospitality industry. He attended the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he obtained a BCom (Hons) in Accounting. After becoming a Chartered Accountant, he assumed control of his family’s hotel business.
Kerzner’s journey to becoming a hospitality titan began in 1962 when he purchased the Astra Hotel in Durban. Spurred by its success, he constructed South Africa’s first-ever five-star hotel, the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga, in 1964. Not one to rest on his laurels, Kerzner then developed the Elangeni Hotel, a striking 450-room property in Durban.
In 1969, Kerzner forged a partnership with South African Breweries to establish the Southern Sun Hotels chain, which rapidly expanded to include over 30 luxurious properties by 1983. A defining moment occurred in 1975 when he inaugurated Le Saint Géran, a splendid hotel perched on the picturesque island of Mauritius.
However, it was the creation of Sun City in 1979 that catapulted Kerzner into the international spotlight. This resort complex featured four hotels, two golf courses, a sprawling man-made lake, and an arena that showcased performances by music legends like Queen, Shirley Bassey, Liza Minnelli, and Frank Sinatra. The resort even served as the inspiration for the influential Artists United Against Apartheid album ‘Sun City.’
In 1994, Sol Kerzner was entrusted by Nelson Mandela himself to organize a VIP event for his Presidential Inauguration, a testament to his immense ability and influence. That same year, he acquired the struggling Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas, which, after an extensive redevelopment, transformed into a remarkable destination boasting 2,300 rooms and one of the world’s largest man-made marine habitats.
A tireless innovator, in 2002, Kerzner established One&Only Resorts. His collaboration extended to Mexico, the Bahamas, South Africa, the Maldives, Dubai, Mauritius, and Hayman Island. Continuing his visionary endeavors, he opened Atlantis The Palm, Dubai in 2008 and revealed plans for the colossal Atlantis hotel on China’s Hainan Island, with an estimated cost exceeding $1.6 billion.
Throughout his illustrious career, Sol Kerzner garnered numerous accolades and notable accomplishments. Beyond his immense success as a hospitality magnate, his vision and innovative spirit were widely recognized.
His contributions to the tourism industry earned him the prestigious Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) title in 201.
Outside of his accomplishments in business, Sol Kerzner led a dynamic personal life characterized by both joy and tragedy. He was married four times throughout his lifetime.
His first marriage was to Maureen Adler, with whom he had three children: Andrea, Butch, and Beverly. Sadly, Butch met an untimely demise in a helicopter crash in 2006. After divorcing Maureen, Kerzner married Shirley Bestbier, and they welcomed son Brandon and daughter Chantal into the world. Tragically, Shirley died by suicide shortly after the birth of Chantal.
Sol’s third wife was Anneline Kriel, the renowned Miss World 1974. Their marriage lasted five years before they parted ways in 1985. In the ’90s, he became engaged to model Christina Estrada, although the relationship ended before they could exchange vows.
Kerzner’s last marital union was with Heather Murphy, a partnership that lasted from 200 to 2011. Notably, Sol was connected to the infamous sex offender Jeffrey Epstein through his inclusion in Epstein’s ‘little black book.’
Described as a “hard-drinking, much-married, chain-smoking mogul with a blue-collar background,” Sol Kerzner was renowned for his resilience and ability to transform dreams into reality. His groundbreaking ventures have left an indelible imprint on the tourism landscape, and his legacy as an innovative entrepreneur will continue to inspire generations to come.