Home » Martin Wygod, a Winner on Wall Avenue and the Racetrack, Dies at 84

Martin Wygod, a Winner on Wall Avenue and the Racetrack, Dies at 84

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Martin J. Wygod, a Wall Avenue whiz who graduated from strolling horses after races to proudly owning and breeding championship thoroughbreds when he made hundreds of thousands from investing in on-line corporations that offered prescription drugs by mail and pruned medical paperwork, died on April 12 in San Diego. He was 84.

His daughter, Emily Bushnell, mentioned he died in a hospital from issues of lung illness.

Raised close to two racetracks in suburban New York and mentored by a software program pioneer, an investor and a gambler, Mr. Wygod was mentioned to have been the youngest managing accomplice of a New York Inventory Trade brokerage within the Nineteen Sixties.

He turned a millionaire earlier than he was 30, and in 1993 he offered Medco Containment Providers to Merck for $6 billion after constructing it into the nation’s largest mail-order prescription drug firm and profit supervisor in lower than a decade. The sale netted Mr. Wygod $250 million.

“The secret sooner or later goes to be info,” Jan Buck, chairman of Princeton Group Worldwide, a pharmaceutical trade consulting agency, commented on the sale to The New York Occasions in 1994. “Marty Wygod made $6 billion for himself as a result of he developed an information base.”

Mr. Wygod then turned the chairman of WebMD, a frontrunner in on-line well being info companies, which he offered in 2017 for a reported $2.8 billion.

He married Pamela Suthern in 1980, and in 1995 they moved from New Jersey to River Edge Farm, a 110-acre unfold in Buellton, Calif., the place they raised fillies and colts to grow to be prime racehorses.

Ranked as California’s main thoroughbred breeders in 2006, 2007 and 2008, the couple, each with and with out companions, bred 124 stakes winners, based on BloodHorse journal. They moved their breeding enterprise to Kentucky in 2010.

Martin Joshua Wygod was born on Feb. 1, 1940, in Manhattan to Max Wygod, an accountant and haberdasher who had immigrated from Poland, and Rose (Greenwald) Wygod.

His affection for horses started when he was a scholar at Lawrence Excessive Faculty in suburban Nassau County, N.Y., the place he befriended Bobby Frankel, who would grow to be a Corridor of Fame coach. As a young person, Martin frolicked with classmates at Aqueduct and Belmont Park, the place he walked horses to chill them down after exercises and races.

After graduating in 1961 from New York College, the place his daughter mentioned he studied Hinduism and Buddhism, Mr. Wygod started his Wall Avenue profession with a $20,000 starter reward from his mom (the equal of a bit of greater than $200,000 at present).

He advised The Occasions in 2000 that his mentors have been Fletcher Jones, who pioneered the commercialization of pc software program and initiated Mr. Wygod into the expertise enterprise; Fred Carr, an funding supervisor; and Manny Kalish, a gambler who handicapped races for New York’s tabloid newspapers and tutored Mr. Wygod on selecting winners.

Mr. Wygod assisted Mr. Jones, a founding father of Pc Sciences Company, in taking the corporate public. That providing helped develop Mr. Wygod’s $20,000 in seed cash into about $50 million by the Nineteen Eighties.

In 1965, Mr. Jones gave Mr. Wygod two horses for his twenty fifth birthday.

“They each gained the primary outing,” Mr. Wygod mentioned in 2000. “I used to be hooked.”

His steady would win greater than a dozen main races over time.

When he was 23, Mr. Wygod began his personal brokerage agency; he offered it three years later for $10 million. The following 12 months, he and two different buyers, Bernie Marden and Albert Weiss, bought a controlling curiosity in Glasrock Medical Providers, which produced gadgets for the well being care trade.

By 1982, by promoting most of his curiosity in Glasrock and one other firm, he had parlayed his unique $2 million funding into $125 million.

Mr. Carr had been an early backer of Medco. Michael Milken, one other earlier investor in Mr. Wygod’s ventures, recalled to The Occasions in 2000 that an impetus for Medco was a criticism from Lee Iacocca, then the chairman of Chrysler, that prescribed drugs for auto employees have been costing the corporate a small fortune. Medco negotiated reductions and incentives for workers who purchased lower-priced generic medicine.

“It was one of many nice creations of a enterprise, actually from scratch,” Mr. Milken mentioned. He added, “Something that Marty does, I’d put money into, besides the horses.”

Really, the horses have been no exception. The racing operation run by the Wygods recorded profession purse earnings of greater than $21 million, together with $2.8 million of their greatest 12 months, 2009.

Along with his spouse and his daughter, Mr. Wygod is survived by their son, Max; a stepson, Adam Yellin; his sister, Marian; and three grandchildren.

His daughter is an equestrian to whom, together with the bloodstock guide Ric Waldman, Mr. Wygod gave his 3-year-old colt Resilience.

Resilience may rating yet one more notch in Mr. Wygod’s legacy. By profitable the Wooden Memorial on April 6 on the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, the horse earned a berth within the a hundred and fiftieth Kentucky Derby, to be held on Might 4.

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