The Life of Howard Marks: A Fascinating Journey

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Howard Marks: The Billionaire Who Mastered the Art of Risk Management


Howard Marks is an American investor, entrepreneur, and writer who is the co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, a prominent global investment firm that specializes in alternative investments, particularly distressed debt. Marks is widely regarded as one of the most influential investors of our time, respected for his keen insights on the art of risk management and his ability to identify opportunities in uncertain markets. He is also an accomplished author, having written several bestselling books, including “The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor.”

Early Life and Education

Howard Marks was born on April 23, 1946, in New York City, United States. He grew up in Queens, where his father was a packaging industry executive. Marks attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in economics in 1967. He later received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 1970.

Career and Achievements

In 1978, Howard Marks co-founded Oaktree Capital Management with a group of partners, including Bruce Karsh and Larry Keele. The firm started as a specialist fixed-income manager and later expanded into distressed debt, high-yield bonds, and other alternative investments. Today, Oaktree manages over $140 billion in assets for institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals globally.

Over the years, Marks has been recognized for his exceptional investment performance and risk management skills. He is a multiple-time recipient of Institutional Investor’s “Alpha” Award for Outstanding Investor in alternative assets and has been included in Forbes’ list of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds.

In addition to his investment success, Marks is also a respected thought leader in finance and economics. He has written extensively on topics such as risk management, market cycles, and the psychology of investing. His books have been widely praised for their clear and insightful analysis and have become essential reading for investors around the world.

Personal Life

Howard Marks is married and has two children. He is known for his philanthropy and has supported various causes, including education, healthcare, and the arts. He serves on the board of trustees for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Weill Cornell Medical College.


Name Howard Marks
Born April 23, 1946
Country United States
Sector Investment management
Companies Oaktree Capital Management
Net Worth $2.1 billion
Forbes URL
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