George Joseph

Age: 75

Net Worth: $470 million

Source of Wealth: Insurance

Residence: Los Angeles

Like many veterans, George Joseph came home from World War II in search of employment opportunities.

He enrolled at Harvard University and quickly realized he had a knack for numbers completing his degree in math and physics from Harvard in under three years.

The first job out of college was as a rate adjuster for Occidental Life Insurance Co. but his ambition quickly got the best of him. In 1954, he was transferred to one of Occidental’s branches as a life salesman.

In 1962, Joseph formed his own company Mercury General Corp. Mercury was among the first companies to offer auto insurance in Los Angeles. It would prove a smart move as L.A. ditched the old Red Car and took to the freeways.

He took the company public twice, the latest being in 1985, and it now registers as the seventh-largest auto insurer in California. It also recently began selling policies in Georgia and Illinois.

At 75, Joseph isn’t one to be taking time off to enjoy retirement. As chief executive officer and chairman, Joseph comes into the office five days a week, and is active in industry organizations, according to his secretary.

He has served on the commisson on No Fault Insurance, and the California Insurance Guarantee Association. He is past president of the Association of California Insurance Companies.

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