NET WORTH: $4.4 billion, up 15 percent

LAST YEAR: $3.83 billion

AGE: 69

RESIDENCE: Beverly Hills

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Air Lease Corp.

THE MONEY: Founder and CEO of Century City airplane leasing company Air Lease Corp. Company surpassed $1 billion revenue for first time last year as sales grew 22 percent; shares spiked 12 percent. Holdings in regional airline SkyWest Inc. increased 28 percent.

BUZZ: Benefitted from 5.9 percent growth in international passenger traffic last year as demand for planes rose. Now owns 213 aircraft, up from 193 the prior year. Sold previous company, International Lease Finance Corp., to American International Group Inc. in 1990, took home more than $1 billion. Pioneer of airline leasing industry traces success to boyhood fascination with airplanes, their operations and airport flight schedules. Known to fly his own plane out of Van Nuys Airport, last year took Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner for a spin as part of due-diligence process before buying. A $66 million gift to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in 2005 built Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, home of largest collection of aviation and space artifacts, in Chantilly, Va.

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