Alan Sugar

(19 Jun 2008)

He may be from humble East End roots but Sir Alan Sugar has achieved a net worth of over £800m. He is ranked at 84th in the 2007 Sunday Times Rich List.

The son of a tailor, Alan Sugar left school at the age of 16, when he started selling car aerials and electric goods out of a van he bought for £100. At the age of 21 he founded Amstrad (Alan Michael Sugar TRADing). Two years later he was manufacturing low-priced hi-fi turntable covers and in 1980, Amstrad was floated on the London Stock Exchange.

The 80s was a boom time for Sir Alan, with his company's share price doubling in value every year. In 1986 he launched a word processor with an affordable price tag which took Europe by storm. Keeping up with the times, he now produces set top boxes and personal video recorders.

Sir Alan became Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur FC in 1991, and up until last year he was their biggest single shareholder. In July 2007, Sugar sold his Amstrad empire to Sky but remains Chairman. Amstrad's sister companies, Amsair, which offers business and executive jets to a number of high profile clients around the world, and Amsprop, an investment firm which he owns with his son, Daniel, keep Sugar in the business world and The Apprentice keeps him in the public eye.

In 2000, Sugar was knighted for his services to business. He holds two honorary Doctorates of Science degrees, awarded by City University and Brunel University respectively. He is a philanthropist for a number of charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Hackney Empire and Jewish Care. He has now been recruited to the government's Treasury Industry Team where he is an advisor to Gordon Brown on youth enterprise. Now aged 61, Sugar is still at the top of his game.

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