Robert Einar Petersen

Age: 70

Net Worth: $500 million

Source of Wealth: Publishing

Residence: Beverly Hills

Every young man's dream a fast, shiny car was the subject Robert Petersen captured in the pages of the magazine he launched in 1948, Hot Rod.

It was the first in a line of titles devoted to guns, trucks, skin diving and photography. In fact, nearly all the titles published by Petersen Publishing Co. explore the hobbies of the company's founder, except for two 'Teen and Sassy, both recent acquisitions aimed at young girls.

Petersen Publishing was sold last year for about $450 million to a group of investors headed by the former president of the magazine division of Hearst Corp., D. Claeys Bahrenburg.

Petersen's interest in cars began as young boy when he would watch his father toil under the hood. He started his publishing empire with less than $500 and spent the early years hawking magazines at racing events.

Today, Petersen Publishing's 34 titles include Motor Trend, Rod & Custom, Custom Classic Trucks and Guns & Ammo.

Petersen's interest in cars led him to establish the acclaimed Petersen Automotive Museum. He took his love for fast vehicles to new heights by founding Petersen Aviation, a jet-chartering company.

After selling his publishing empire, he assumed the title of chairman emeritus and now sits on the Petersen board when he isn't waxing his Ferrari 355 Spider convertible or hunting big game in Africa.

Julie Sable

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.