The 75-year-old, who is reportedly partnering with Qatar Sports Investments to launch a £5bn (€7bn) deal to take control of Formula One, has risen from Detroit tax attorney to king of New York real estate, building a fortune estimated at $6.5bn (€5.8bn) according to Forbes magazine.
He lives and works in his crowning achievement, the colossal Time Warner Center on the south-west corner of Central Park, but is now engaged on a far grander project at Hudson Yards which will reshape New York’s profile once again.
Ross, son of an inventor but nephew of an oil man, built his vast empire on the back of a $10,000 loan from his mother after he was fired from a Wall Street job, investing in affordable housing and quickly discovering a knack for making money in his adopted city.
Ross’ first attempt to buy an NFL team failed when he tried to buy the New York Jets in 1999, but in 2009, he completed a buyout of the Miami Dolphins — acquiring the team for $1.1bn from the man that beat him to that baseball franchise, Wayne Huizenga.
Ross was also part of the bid to bring the 2012 Olympics to New York — a bid which included a proposed new stadium for the Jets on the Hudson Yards site Ross is now developing into a 26-acre complex.
Meanwhile, Max Mosley, the former FIA president, said he expects Bernie Ecclestone to remain as Formula One’s chief executive even if the sport takes on new ownership.
CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm which has owned F1 for the last 10 years, is in talks with a US-Qatari bid to sell its 35.5% controlling stake in Formula One.