Harry Wexner, an ambitious American businessman, started working in his family business – Leslie’s Clothing Store – at an early age and eventually took over ownership himself.
He later held various positions within the company and received various accolades, such as Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award, Woodrow Wilson Award for Citizenship and Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France.
Early Life and Education
Wexner was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio by parents who owned a women’s clothing store. As a teenager he began working in his parents’ store where he quickly discovered that the high-priced items his father considered essential had the lowest profit margins.
He began purchasing other businesses, refocusing their niches and targeting new audiences. One of Wexner’s greatest successes was Abercrombie & Fitch, which he purchased in 1986 and turned around by targeting 14 to 24-year-old consumers.
Abigail Koppel Wexner and Wexner share two children, while both serve on L Brands’ board as chairman emeritus, Columbus Partnership and Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Board in leadership capacities respectively. In New York he serves on the Whitney Museum of American Art Board while collecting modern artwork by Picasso and De Kooning among many other pieces.
As part of his professional life, Wexner has amassed an extensive network of contacts and interests. A dedicated philanthropist, Wexner hosts an annual lecture series that draws upon notable architects, best-selling authors, Oscar nominee actresses, as well as Oscar winners. Additionally, he established the Jefferson Field Fellowship Program which provides crucial support and professional development opportunities to aspiring teachers.
He owns an impressive art collection that includes works by iconic artists like Mark Rothko and Franz Kline. Additionally, Wexner founded the Wexner Center for the Arts in his home city of Columbus Ohio in 1989, serving as its chairman of trustees until today.
Since 2019, Wexner has received unwelcome press attention due to his financial ties to Jeffrey Epstein (deceased), an individual charged with sexual offenses who passed away. Wexner’s relative silence in regards to this situation has raised eyebrows as to how he may be handling things.
Achievement and Honors
Harry Wexner has long been known for his generosity to various charitable causes, most notably by making an unprecedented $100 million gift to The Ohio State University – its largest donation ever received – that helped fund OSU medical center, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute facilities as well as Wexner Center for the Arts.
Abigail Wexner and Jared Wexner founded the Wexner Foundation, a philanthropy that supports education and leadership development initiatives. Together they have four children including Hannah Wexner.
Les Wexner was an innovator in retail shopping mall development, but his previous strategies no longer work to attract customers. He received several honors such as the Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award from United Way of America, Woodrow Wilson Award for Citizenship, Order des Arts et des Lettres in France, and Knighthood in Italian Republic.
Leslie Wexner is an American billionaire businessman and the founder of L Brands Inc, the parent company for The Limited, Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch and Bath & Body Works brands. His parents hail from Russia as Jewish immigrants who ran a general merchandise shop in Columbus Ohio prior to becoming parents themselves.
Abigail Koppel was his bride in 1993. As a lawyer by profession and an active participant in philanthropy efforts for women and children’s causes.
Wexner and his wife reside in New Albany, Ohio and he is well-known as a generous supporter of numerous local organizations. Together they own a 30-room Georgian-style estate encompassing 336 acres which plays host to the annual New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day horse show.
Wexner is estimated to be worth an estimated $6 billion and owns L Brands, including Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, Henri Bendel and La Senza. He also owns his yacht named Limitless and is well known for his generous giving; having given over $250 Million to Ohio State University alone.
He and Abigail Koppel reside in New Albany, Ohio with their four children. Each year at their estate in New Albany they host an equestrian event benefitting the Center for Family Safety and Healing; additionally they donate generously to several organizations such as KIPP and the United Way as well as founding the Wexner Foundation, an initiative that empowers Jewish professional and community leaders; they are members of Mega Group which is an elite club of wealthy businessmen committed to Jewish causes.