Rich company

Fort Worth billionaire tycoon inducted into Texas Business Hall of Fame

Fort Worth billionaire tycoon inducted to Texas Business Hall of Fame

Cliburn gala 2018, John Goff, Cami Goff, Sasha Bass, Ed Bass
John Goff, left, with wife Cami Goff, Sasha Bass, and Ed Bass at the 2018 Cliburn gala. Photo by Joyce Marshall

Fort Worth private investor John C. Goff, regarded as a legend in North Texas real estate, can add another accolade to his prolific portfolio. He and three other Dallas-Fort Worth business tycoons — Mark Cuban, Morton Meyerson, and Randall Stephenson — were inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame, honored recently at a dinner at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

Also inducted were Austin billionaire John Paul DeJoria, who built his fortune through hair care products and high-end tequila, and Houston investment manager Gerald Smith.

Goff has lived in Fort Worth since 1981 and got his big break working for investing guru Richard Rainwater. He is best known as co-founder, vice chairman, and CEO of Crescent Real Estate, which Morgan Stanley bought in 2007 for $6.5 billion. Two years later, he bought back the company in partnership with Barclays Capital.

Today, Goff is chairman of Crescent Real Estate, as well as Houston-based Contango Oil & Gas. He owns The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dallas and Fort Worth-based spa company Canyon Ranch.

Crescent Real Estate is the powerhouse heading up a major mixed-use project in Fort Worth's Cultural District, which will include a premier boutique hotel with a chef-driven restaurant; luxury residential; office building; and state-of-the-art spa and fitness center.

"We are going to build the finest hotel in the city that we hope will become the living room of Fort Worth," Goff said when the development was announced.

Goff appeared at No. 2,263 on Forbes' 2021 list of the world's billionaires, with a net worth of $1.3 billion.

"He is presently focused on investments in aerospace, energy, entertainment, real estate, and wellness," his hall of fame bio says

Goff is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, where he "continues to pledge his support to McCombs School of Business through the John C. Goff Endowed Excellence Fund," his bio says, but he was reportedly instrumental in bringing Texas A&M University's "Aggieland North" campus to Fort Worth. (Hook 'em and Gig 'em!)

A little more about the other new hall of famers:

Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban, of course, is owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, as well as chairman and CEO of AXS TV and one of the investors on ABC’s Shark Tank.

"Since the age of 12, Mark has been a natural businessman. Selling garbage bags door to door, the seed was planted early on for what would eventually become long-term success," his hall of fame bio says.

His latest initiative is Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, a new venture designed to disrupt big pharma and keep the cost of prescription drugs down.

Dallas private investor Morton H. Meyerson — recognized most notably as the namesake of the Meyerson Symphony Center — is former chairman and CEO of Plano-based EDS and former chief technology officer at GM. He is currently chair of 2M Companies, a family office he established in 1983, and of The Morton H. Meyerson Family Foundation. He was born in Fort Worth.

Dallas executive Randall Stephenson is former chairman and CEO of Dallas-based tech, media, and telecom giant AT&T.

"As Chairman and CEO, Randall led AT&T’s transformation aligned with two major trends: First, that consumers will continue to spend more time viewing premium content where they want, when they want and how they want. And second, that businesses and consumers alike will continue to demand more connectivity, bandwidth, mobility and software-based entertainment," his hall of fame bio says.

Houston investment manager Gerald Smith is chairman and CEO of Smith Graham & Co., an investment management firm. He’s also a board member of New York Life Insurance and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and chairman of the Texas Southern University Foundation.

Austin hair care guru John Paul DeJoria and hairstylist Paul Mitchell, in 1980, transformed a partially borrowed $700 into Beverly Hills, California-based John Paul Mitchell Systems, which today sells the largest privately owned line of salon hair care products. In 1989, DeJoria co-founded Patrón, the first ultra-premium tequila. Patrón, now the world’s No. 1 ultra-premium tequila, was sold to Bacardi in 2018 for $5.1 billion.

“John Paul DeJoria’s rags-to-riches biography exemplifies the American dream. Once homeless, he has struggled against the odds to achieve success, launching multiple global enterprises while always supporting his motto, ‘Success unshared is failure,’” his bio says.