Russell Simmons Net Worth & Biography

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Introduction

Russell Simmons is an American entrepreneur, record executive, writer, and film producer. He is chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, co-founded the hip-hop label Def Jam Recordings, and created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and Tantris. Simmons' net worth was estimated at $340 million in 2011. As of , Russell Simmons has an estimated net worth of about $380M.

At a Glance

Full name: Russell Wendell Simmons

Other names: Russell Simmons

Birthday: October 4, 1957

Age:

Net worth: $380M

Occupation: Entrepreneur, Writer, Record Executive, Philanthropist and Film Producer.

Nationality: United States of America.

Net Worth

$380M

Simmons and his brothers founded the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation in 1995. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide art education and support to under-serviced youth by helping people of color access the arts and by providing exhibition opportunities. As of , Russell Simmons has an estimated net worth of about $380M.

Early Life

Russell Wendell Simmons was born in the Hollis neighborhood of New York City's Queens borough on October 4, 1957. His father was a public school administrator and his mother was a park administrator for the New York City Parks and Recreation Department.

His brothers are painter Daniel Simmons, Jr. and Joseph Simmons (better known as Rev Run of Run-DMC fame). In 1975, after graduating from August Martin High School, Simmons briefly attended the City College of New York in Harlem where he met a young DJ/Bboy, Kurt Walker, who influenced him to participate in the hip hop phenomenon.

Upon hearing Eddie Cheeba perform in Harlem in 1977, Simmons knew that hip hop would be his career. Simmons stated, "Hearing Cheeba in '77 made me feel like I had just witnessed the invention of the wheel."

Favorite Quotes from Russell Simmons

“Find peace within yourself.” – Russell Simmons
“Always focus on your effort, instead of the results of that effort.” – Russell Simmons
“The key ingredient to any kind of happiness or success is to never give less than your best.” – Russell Simmons
“As I get, I give. Giving as you get is critical. It has everything to do with being happy for yourself, and making others happy is the cause of making yourself happy, and it’s the cycle of giving and getting.” – Russell Simmons
“Don’t get caught up in the hype. Always be connected to and content with, what’s happening in your own head.” – Russell Simmons
“Giving, not trading or selling, is the basis of success. The most rewarding thing you can do is just to give the world something good. And ultimately you will be paid so much more for that gift that you had tried to trade it for something else.” – Russell Simmons
“That’s because the truth is, the only things that are going to bring lasting happiness to your life are good health and knowledge of self, which lead to a compassionate relationship with the world.” – Russell Simmons

Career

Simmons co-founded Def Jam in 1984 with Rick Rubin, who sold his share of the company for $120 million to Universal Music Group in 1996.

In 1985, Simmons co-produced and appeared in the film Krush Groove. Simmons' company, Rush Communications Inc., includes over ten businesses and three non-profits. Simmons, with his partner Stan Lathan, has also produced television hits HBO's Def Comedy Jam and Def Poetry Jam, and currently has a development deal with HBO.

In 1996, Simmons co-produced the hit film The Nutty Professor, starring Eddie Murphy. In 1997, Simmons co-produced the film Def Jam's How to Be a Player, starring Bill Bellamy. In 2003, Simmons co-founded RushCard, a prepaid debit card provider.

In 1992, Simmons launched the clothing line Phat Fashions LLC using the Phat Farm and Phat Baby labels.

When Simmons first created Phat Fashions LLC, the clothing line was sold in a shop in the SoHo district of Manhattan. Simmons's connections with well known rap artists helped to promote the clothing line to a wide audience.

The influence of designers such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger gave the clothing line a classic look and feel. Phat Fashions encompassed hip hop clothing for women and children, as well as men, and grew into a lifestyle brand with the addition of jewelry, perfume, and other merchandise.

Phat Fashions LLC sold merchandise in two stores in New York and Montreal, as well as online at www.phatfarm.com. In addition, the clothing line was carried by some 3,000 retailers in the United States.

In 2004, Simmons sold Phat Farm and Baby Phat to the Kellwood Company for $140 million.

The Foundation serves about 3,000 students annually and maintains two galleries. The Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan and the Corridor Gallery in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn exhibit the work of more than 100 community and emerging artists.

In 2014, Claremont Lincoln University awarded Simmons an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters for his work as chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and for promoting mindfulness, compassion and interreligious collaboration in the public sphere.