Born in 1965, billionaire Josh Harris has spent most of his life at the helm of Apollo Global Management, an alternative investment management company serving institutional investors worldwide. Under his leadership, Apollo has become the second-largest alternatives and largest alternative credit manager today, with over $460 billion in assets under management. Outside of Apollo, Harris is a major figure in the world of professional sports. A lifelong athlete himself, Harris is also the principal owner and managing partner of the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League and the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. Additionally, Harris is active in philanthropic initiatives through his family foundation, Harris Philanthropies. Harris also sits on numerous boards, including one for the Mount Sinai Medical Center and one for Harvard Business School. In 2013, he was honored by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with the Outstanding American Award.
In fact, Harris credits wrestling at the University of Pennsylvania for unlocking the internal drive that has allowed him to realize so much professional success in the world of finance. Harris arrived at UPenn in 1982, and as a freshman landed a spot on the wrestling team, where he competed at 118 pounds. “Wrestling is no joke,” said Harris. “If you’re not ready, you get physically dominated, and that teaches you a lesson. It allowed me to learn about grit and discipline, and I’ve applied that to my life. I owe a lot of where I am to the sport, and what it’s taught me.”
While Harris wasn't destined to become a top wrestler on the team, he did find more success in the classroom. After an introductory economics class ignited a spark within him, he transferred to Wharton and dove headfirst into finance. In 1986, he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Harris has been a long-time donor to his alma mater, having funded numerous initiatives, including two professorships, a scholarship for students, and a $1 million gift to support the University’s wrestling program. He also serves as a member on Wharton’s Board of Overseers. In 2019, Wharton announced that Harris and his wife were topping his previous generosity with a new $10 million donation. The funds helped establish the Joshua J. Harris Alternative Investments Program, which expands co-curricular opportunities for Wharton students in the finance field by bringing together alumni and industry experts. The University’s President Amy Gutmann explained the importance of this landmark gift by saying, “We are profoundly grateful to Josh and Marjorie for their visionary philanthropy that helps today’s Penn students lead in tomorrow’s complex world.”