3 Reasons All Entrepreneurs Should Look Up to Daryl Katz

At the age of 54, Daryl Katz has done more than many business people achieve in their lifetimes. He amassed billions of dollars in the pharmaceutical industry before turning his attentions to real estate, sports, and entertainment. These are just some of the reasons why entrepreneurs in all industries should look up to this enterprising Canadian.

He’s a Self-Made Businessman


While he had a comfortable childhood, Daryl Katz wasn’t born into great wealth. His father, Barry Katz, opened a small drugstore in 1955. Five years later, he moved the business to Capilano Mall and used the larger space to give his family an upper-middle class life. As Daryl terrorized his father’s store as a toddler, knocking items off shelves as he ran through the aisles, he grew to appreciate the pharmaceutical business.

Despite practicing as a lawyer, Katz saw his career take a turn in 1991 when he partnered with his father to buy the Canadian rights to the Medicine Shoppe drugstore franchise for $300,000. A year later, the first Medicine Shoppe opened in Canada. The Katz pharmaceutical empire grew with the purchase of struggling Canadian drugstore chain Rexall. He brought the franchise back from the brink before selling it in 2016 for $3 billion. Offloading Rexall has allowed him to pursue other business interests. From humble beginnings, Daryl Katz is worth approximately $3.4 billion today, according to Forbes.

He Balances Professional and Personal Life

Katz hasn’t let business aspirations hold him back from a fulfilling personal life. In 1994, he married Renee Gouin, daughter of Jean Yvon and Carol Gouin, founders of leading mining and heavy construction firm North American Construction Group. They live in a $13.1 mansion in Edmonton but own other properties, too, including Bel-Air homes once owned by Groucho Marx’s son, Arthur Marx, and Art Linkletter. The couple has two teenage children — Chloe and Harrison — who have followed in their enterprising family’s footsteps to launch Hockey Helps Kids, a program that helps support children’s charities through an interschool hockey tournament.

He’s Passionate About His Hometown

So many entrepreneurs are lured to business hubs like New York City or Silicon Valley, but not Daryl Katz. He’s a proud Edmonton native who refuses to move from the place where he was born and raised. His passion for the Alberta capital is admirable. While his business achievements are significant, Forbes suggests that his efforts to revitalize his hometown may become his most important legacy.

The Katz Group has spent almost $2 billion on a sprawling 35-acre complex, dubbed the Ice District, a city within a city that will feature a hotel, condominiums, entertainment facilities, and office spaces. The heart of the Ice District is the $600 million Rogers Place Arena. This new 18,500-seat venue will become the new home of his ice hockey team and the pride of the city, the Edmonton Oilers. Set to open in fall 2016 after nine years of planning, the sports arena will also feature a light rail transit link, a community skating rink, and a winter garden.

Thanks to his long list of professional and personal achievements, there’s plenty for entrepreneurs to admire about Daryl Katz.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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