Sam Zell, Founder of Equity LifeStyle Properties, Passes Away

From Woodall's Campground Magazine

Sam Zell, a legendary real-estate investor, who made billions scooping up distressed commercial properties, has died at 81.

A message from Equity Residential EQR, where he was founder and chairman, said that it was mourning the death of the prominent investor. “Mr. Zell was an iconic figure in real estate and throughout the corporate world [and] an active investor in real estate since the 1960s,” the Equity Residential statement said.

Zell is credited with popularizing the real-estate investment trust and was known sometimes for his penchant for acquiring distressed real estate.

The Chicago-based investor bought dozens of foreclosed office buildings in the 1990s at steep discounts and eventually sold most of them through the $39 billion Equity Office Properties deal in 2007 to the private-equity firm Blackstone Group BX, one of his more prominent deals, noted the Wall Street Journal in 2021.

Zell was the chairman of a number of real-estate companies, including Equity Residential, Equity LifeStyle Properties ELS, Equity Commonwealth EQC, Covanta Holding and Anixter International.