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Telling Fortunes

No. 32: Robert McNair

Age: 76Home: HoustonNet Worth: $2 billion

Bob McNair is the man who brought pro football back to Houston. At the end of 1996, Houston had lost all love for the Oilers, who had announced they were moving to Tennessee for promises of a better stadium and higher ticket sales. After the team relocated, in 1997, McNair—who had just sold Cogen Technologies, a power plant operator and the largest privately owned cogeneration company in the world, to Enron for $1.5 billion—spent $700 million of his personal fortune to bid for the thirty-second expansion team in the NFL. He beat out Los Angeles and Toronto and won the franchise that eventually became the Houston Texans, now valued at $1.3 billion. 


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