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Jeffrey Lurie as "Richie Rich"

The Jeffrey Lurie Biography

Coming to a theater near you-the story of a little rich kid who uses his family wealth to buy an NFL team that breaks the hearts of it's fans for over 18 years as they line his pockets with cash.

Jeffrey Lurie was born into wealth in Boston; His grandfather Philip Smith founded the movie theatre chain General Cinema. 

His father Morris John Lurie married Nancy Smith, the daughter of entrepreneur Philip Smith. Morris and Nancy Lurie had three children: Jeffrey, Peter, and Cathy. Morris John Lurie died on April 14, 1961 at the age of 44. Four months later his grandfather Philip Smith died. Jeffrey was nine years old.

In the late 1960s the firm began acquiring bottling franchises, including a Pepsi bottling operation.

Opening the Cinema Shoppers World, Framingham in 1951 are Phil Smith, Dick Smith, and representatives of the shopping center developer, National Suburban Centers.

Opening the Cinema Shoppers World, Framingham in 1951 are Phil Smith, Dick Smith, and representatives of the shopping center developer, National Suburban Centers.

 General Cinema evolved over the years into Harcourt General Inc., a $3.7 billion conglomerate based in Chestnut Hill, Mass., with 23,700 employees worldwide. In it's heyday it was the nation's fourth-largest chain of movie theaters, owned several publishing houses, three insurance companies and a leading global consulting firm. In 1984 Carter Hawley Hale was acquired ,which was at the time the tenth largest clothing retailer in the United States, including Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman-Marcus.
the nation's fourth-largest chain of movie theaters,  several publishing houses, three insurance companies, a leading global consulting firm and in 1984 Carter Hawley Hale, which was at the time the tenth largest clothing retailer in the United States, including Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman-Marcus.

 Lurie, a native of Boston, graduated from Clark University and later earned a Ph.D. in social policy at Brandeis University, where he wrote his thesis on the depiction of women in Hollywood movies. During this period, Lurie was also a professor of social studies at Boston University.

 In 1983 he left academia to join General Cinema Corporation, a major film company founded by his grandfather, Philip Smith, and now headed by his uncle, Richard Smith. He worked as an executive in the company as a liaison between General Cinema Corporation and the production community in Hollywood. He was also an advisor in The General Cinema national film buying office.

He then founded Chestnut Hill Productions in 1985 which produced a string of Hollywood Movie & TV "Bombs".

  • 2012 Inocente (documentary short) (executive producer)
  • 2012 A Place at the Table (documentary) (executive producer)
  • 2010 Inside Job (documentary) (executive producer) $4,312,735 Academy Award for Best Documentary
  • 2009 Sergio (documentary) (executive producer)
  • 1996 Foxfire (producer) $269,300

Jeffrey Lurie Philadelphia Eagles

  • 1996 Malibu Shores (TV series) (co-executive producer) (co-producer) 10 episodes

Jeffrey Lurie Philadelphia Eagles

  • 1994 State of Emergency (TV movie) (executive producer)

Jeffrey Lurie Philadelphia Eagles

  • 1993 Blind Side (TV movie) (executive producer)

Jeffrey Lurie Philadelphia Eagles

  • 1991 V.I. Warshawski (producer) $11,128,309

Jeffrey Lurie Philadelphia Eagles

  • 1990 I Love You to Death (producer) $16,186,793

Jeffrey Lurie Philadelphia Eagles

  • 1988 Sweet Hearts Dance (producer) $3,790,493

Jeffrey Lurie Philadelphia Eagles

Tri-Star Pictures formed a joint venture with Chestnut Hill Productions March 11, 1985 Press Release

The New York-based motion picture company reached an agreement to co-finance the development of theatrical projects by the newly formed Chestnut Hill Productions over the next two years. Under the terms of the deal, Tri-Star has the right of first refusal on the projects and will finance the productions it accepts. Chestnut Hill is a private firm formed by Jeffrey Lurie, a member of the family that controls the largest block of stock of General Cinema Corp., the nation's largest movie theater chain.

In a pre-production meeting for I Love You To Death, Lurie met Christina Weiss, a former actress who was working for his production company. In 1992, Lurie married Weiss in Gstaad, Switzerland. They had two children: a son and a daughter. In 2012, the couple announced that they were divorcing. In August 2012 Jeffrey Lurie and his wife of 20 years, Christina, quietly settled their divorce.

I Want To Own a Football Team

Jeffrey Lurie is a member of that most rabid subspecies of NFL fanatic, the draftaholic. While living in Hollywood he prepared for the league's annual college draft by holing up in the media room above the garage of his Beverly Hills home and watching tapes of the Blue-Gray Game, the Japan Bowl, the Senior Bowl—Lurie would have them all—on his big-screen, surround-sound TV.  Lurie would drive to Santa Barbara nearly every Sunday to a cheap roadside hotel. He would check into a room and spend the next three hours sitting on the edge of a bed watching his hometown New England Patriots, whose games were rarely shown in Los Angeles. The hotel manager felt so sorry for Lurie, he charged him only $20 for the room as long as he didn't mess it up. Those were the days Lurie wore a huge button with the Patriots' team picture on it. A button with blinking lights.

 In 1993 Lurie, a fan of the New England Patriots, the team with the first pick in the 1993 draft, went even further. He and Jeffrey Auerbach, a fellow producer and football nut, obtained Washington State and Notre Dame game films, the better to study the talents of the two top quarterbacks in the draft, the Cougars' Drew Bledsoe and the Irish's Rick Mirer.

"We watched the films, and 98 percent of the time we'd see Bledsoe go for what appeared to be the primary receiver, while Mirer would look for his second and third option," says Auerbach. "We decided you couldn't go wrong, because they were both so good. I favored Mirer. But Jeff favored Bledsoe for the Patriots because of his raw talent." The Patriots, of course, took Bledsoe.

The Luries had been season-ticket holders since the New England Patriots since  franchise was born in 1960, the year the American Football League was founded. Lurie cheered for Gino Cappellitti, Houston Antwine and Babe Parilli. This was the team of his dreams. Jeffrey Lurie tried to buy the New England Patriots but he dropped out of the bidding at $150 million when his uncle Richard Smith nixed the purchase based on the financials .

Lurie's name also had surfaced in sale talks regarding the Los Angeles Rams, and he was a potential investor in a bid for a Baltimore expansion team with Robert Tisch, who subsequently bought 50 percent of the Giants.

Norman Braman

 Five months later, Smith agreed to let his nephew buy the Eagles. Lurie contacted Norman Braman, then-owner of the Eagles. Lurie bought the Philadelphia Eagles on May 6, 1994 from Norman Braman for $195 million. Lurie and his mother, Nancy Lurie Marks of Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Philip Smith's only daughter - borrowed an estimated $190 million from the Bank of Boston to buy the Eagles. To back the Bank of Boston loan, Lurie put up millions of dollars' worth of personal stock in Harcourt General and  GC Companies Inc., as equity capital. Additionally, he and his mother pledged their stock in the family trust as collateral so Lurie could borrow the rest.

"I am very excited at the prospect of acquiring the franchise and becoming a Philadelphian," Lurie said in a statement. "Philadelphia is one of the great sports cities in America, and I look forward to a long and successful relationship with the city, its team and its loyal fans." 

They met in 1969 in Chestnut Hill, Mass., two teenagers named Jeff and Joe who, like so many boys their age, shared a love of sports When Jeffrey Lurie was introduced  as the team's new owner, Joseph Banner was there, watching quietly from the sidelines. He had no title and no defined role with the team. He was described as Lurie's right-hand man. "I don't really care if my title is ballboy, as long as I'm able to make a significant contribution to the club," Banner said. He had an intriguing resume, one that combines experience in sports reporting, business and charity - all of which made him valuable to Lurie in different capacities.

When he graduated from Ohio's Denison University in 1975, Banner became a sports producer and reporter at Philadelphia's WCAU-AM (1210). By the time he was 25, Banner had left broadcasting to start his own business, Designers Clothing Ltd.. Joe Banner eventually became President or the Philadelphia Eagles and then left the team in 2012 to join The Cleveland Browns.

Lurie named Hollywood buddy Jeffrey Auerbach as the Eagles' vice president for business development and broadcasting of the Philadelphia Eagles. Two years late Aurebach announced his resignation, citing his frustration with "the slow pace of decision-making in sports"` `It has truly been an enjoyable, wonderful experience with the Eagles. But I've missed the entertainment business and I'm looking forward to getting back into the creative realm.''

The club is now estimated to be worth $1.164 billion, as valued in 2011 by Forbes. Forbes also describes him as a "self made" billionaire - the correct term should be "family made".

Is it that Lurie is a financial genius that made his investment grow?

 No not really...... the chart below shows how the valuations of NFL teams have grown in the past 11 years. The NFL has grown exponentially over the last 11 years, as the league’s growth continues to be driven in large part by highly profitable national TV rights fees.

The NFL’s average team value rose by $570 million overall at an 8.3% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the last 10 years.

Basically Jeffrey Lurie is "Richie Rich" who never really worked a day in his life ( or paid to see a movie) and used family money to buy a big toy "The Philadelphia Eagles" and got in the game at the right time.

The Boo Birds

The Philadelphia Eagle "Relieve" Andy Reid of His Coaching Duties

December 31, 2012

"Andy Reid won the most games of any head coach in Eagles history and he is someone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years to come,” said Jeff Lurie. "But, it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction. Coach Reid leaves us with a winning tradition that we can build upon. And we are very excited about the future.”

The New Coach

On January 16, 2013The Philadelphia Eagles hired Chip Kelly to become the head coach. He was the head coach at the University of Oregon. During his four seasons at Oregon, he led the team to three Pac-12 Conference championships and four BCS game appearances. Kelly is a native of New Hampshire, and attended Manchester Central High School and earned his Bachelor of Science in physical education from the University of New Hampshire in 1990. He played quarterback at Manchester Central and defensive back at the University of New Hampshire. He has been in coaching since 1990. 

New Hire -vice president of player personnel

The Philadelphia Eagles have hired Tom Gamble to be vice president of player personnel. 

Gamble spent the previous eight seasons with the defending NFC-champion San Francisco 49ers, including the last two as director of player personnel. The move was announced Wednesday.

Gamble will work in both the college and pro personnel departments.

Gamble began his NFL career working for the Eagles in 1988 and stayed until 1994, serving as a college scouting administrator, area scout, contract negotiator, and director of pro scouting. Gamble worked for the New York Jets as a defensive assistant/quality control coach from 1995-96. He became a pro scout for the Baltimore Ravens in 1997 before joining the Indianapolis Colts as a college scout from 1998-2004. 

Credit: NY Daily News

His father, Harry Gamble, was the Eagles' president from 1986-95.

TomGamble, the Eagles vice president of player personnel with nearly 30 years of NFL experience with the Eagles, Jets, Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers, was fired by Roseman on New Year's Eve 2014.

Jeffrey Lurie from Messiah to Enigma

Jeffrey Lurie does not relate well to Philadelphia Fans who support his team no matter what. When he first purchased the team he would walk through the stands and he was treated like a "messiah" by the fans. 

Today he does not talk to the fans or the media. He now is above the "common man". He does give his annual "State of Eagles Address" once a year- fitting of his position.

The Philadelphia Eagles have not won a world championship since 1960, 52 years ago -Lurie has owned the team for 18 of those years- 35% of that time. 

Lurie's beloved New England Patriots have reached the Super Bowl 5 times and won 3 times since 2000. In 2005 they beat The Philadelphia Eagles to win The Super Bowl.

Jeffrey Lurie Philadelphia Eagles

With his background and up bringing he has no idea of what a Philadelphia fan really is. He is from Boston (via Hollywood)! And remember The Philadelphia Eagles were his second choice or third choice .

To the fans he is a "Corporate Owner". He is an enigma with no observable personality.

The Philadelphia Eagles development and success since Jeff Lurie purchased the team in 1994 has been attributed to Joe Banner, Christina Weiss Lurie and Andy Reid.

Joe Banner played an integral role in transforming the Eagles into one of the most successful and progressive organizations in professional sports, both on and off the field  "Joe plays a crucial role in most everything we accomplish. His determination, intelligence and desire for success are invaluable assets to the Philadelphia Eagles," said Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie. "He's a great team player, unselfish and wants what's best for the franchise, our fans and our players." 

Banner left the team in 2012 and became CEO of the Cleveland Browns.

Christina Weiss Lurie spearheaded the club’s efforts to become a leader off the field, as well as on it. Christina was instrumental in the creation and design of Lincoln Financial Field, the club’s state-of-the-art stadium and the NovaCare Complex, the club’s corporate headquarters and training facility. She was the driving force in the Eagles’ involvement in the important causes of breast cancer and environmental awareness.

In 2012, the couple announced that they were divorcing. In August 2012 Jeffrey Lurie and his wife of 20 years, Christina, quietly settled their divorce.

During Andy Reid's 14-year tenure, Reid has compiled the best win total (120), winning percentage (.609) and playoff victory total (10) in team history. He captured six division titles and five trips to the NFC Championship game. During this period, no other franchise earned more divisional playoff round appearances  and only Bill Belichick's New England Patriots exceeded Philadelphia's (5) conference championship game appearances with . Reid also sent 19 players to 44 Pro Bowl appearances, the highest total for any team in the NFL during that period.

Andy Reid was "relieved" of his coaching duties on December 31,2001.

Jeffrey Lurie has ended his relationships and parted ways with the people most responsible for The Philadelphia Eagles development and success since he bought the team. In one case the reason was obvious in the others not so much.





Harvey Comics

Richie Rich is a trademark of Harvey Comics. If Richie Rich were a real person and had actually bought the Philadelphia Eagles the team would have won several Super Bowls by this point in time.

Credit: Forbes, WR Hambrecht+Co, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Harvey Comics, The Los Angeles Times