Kevin O’Leary, also known as “Mr. Wonderful” on the popular TV show “Shark Tank,” is a well-known entrepreneur, author, and television personality. With a diverse range of experiences and a unique approach to investing, O’Leary has become a household name. Here’s a closer look at his life and career.

Kevin O'Leary,"Mr. Wonderful" Shark Tank USA
Kevin O’Leary

Early Life and Education

Kevin O’Leary was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1954. His father was a traveling executive for the International Labour Organization, and as a result, O’Leary grew up living in various countries around the world. He attended high school in Cambodia and Switzerland before returning to Canada for college. O’Leary earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from the University of Waterloo, followed by an MBA from the University of Western Ontario.

Kevin O’Leary Career in Business

After completing his MBA, O’Leary founded Special Event Television, a production company that created original sports programming. In 1986, he founded SoftKey Software Products, which became the world leader in educational, reference, and home productivity software, with annual sales over $800 million and offices in 15 countries. The company went through a series of acquisitions and mergers and was eventually acquired by Mattel in 1999 for $4.2 billion.

Following the sale of SoftKey, O’Leary founded and invested in several other companies, including Storage Now, a developer of climate-controlled storage facilities, and Stream Global Services, an outsourcing business services company. Today, he is the founder and chief sommelier of O’Leary Fine Wines and leads the O’Leary Financial Group, which includes O’Shares Investment Advisers and O’Leary Ventures.

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Investing and “Shark Tank”

O’Leary is known for his direct and often brutally honest approach to investing. He is a frequent investor on “Shark Tank,” a television show where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors, including O’Leary. He has invested in a variety of businesses, including Wicked Good Cupcakes, Plated, and GrooveBook.

In addition to “Shark Tank,” O’Leary co-hosted the television series “Project Earth” on the Discovery Channel, which explored the financial implications of global climate change. He is also a regular contributor on CNBC and has written three bestselling books on finance, including “Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women and Money” and “Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids and Money.”

Personal Life

Outside of his business ventures, O’Leary is an avid photographer and guitarist. He is also active in philanthropy and serves on the board of directors for the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and the advisory board for the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Conclusion

Kevin O’Leary’s diverse experiences and straightforward approach to investing have made him a recognizable figure in the business world. With a successful career in software, as well as a variety of other investments and ventures, O’Leary has a wealth of experience to share with entrepreneurs. His honest and direct feedback on “Shark Tank” has become a staple of the show, and his contributions to the field of finance and investing have earned him a well-deserved reputation as one of the most influential entrepreneurs of his time.

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