Capital: € 1.1 billion
Age: 80
Born: May 9, 1939
Country of origin: Romania
Source of wealth: Entrepreneurs
Last updated: 2024

Short introduction

The Romanian Ion Tiriac was a successful hockey and tennis player and is an equally successful manager and entrepreneur. In Germany he was best known as the manager of Boris Becker, whom he managed from 1984 to 1993. He also looked after many other tennis stars as managers. He is also involved in numerous entrepreneurial activities that made him a billionaire.

Early life

His life was shaped by sport from an early age. Born in Transylvania, he first appeared when he became a table tennis master in his age group as a child. He later started playing ice hockey. For his home country Romania, he even took part in the 1964 Winter Olympics. At the same time, he also played tennis, which he made his profession shortly after participating in the Olympics.


Especially in doubles Ion Tiriac celebrated his success as a professional tennis player. Ilie Nastase was his partner for a long time, later Guillerma Vilas for just as long. In 1970 he won a grand slam tournament, namely the French Open in doubles. He was also very successful in representing the country of Romania in the Davis Cup. Three times, in 1969, 1971 and 1972, he made it to the finals without being able to win the competition.

In total, Ion Tiriac won 22 doubles tournaments in his career as a double specialist. In singles he won only one professional tournament, also one in Munich in 1970. Some other successes as a single player are also in his vita, but were of inferior rank.

While he was only known to real tennis lovers during this time, since doubles are generally less in the focus of attention, he gained international fame through his work as a manager of tennis players. He started with this task in 1983 and quickly had a lot of players under contract. The most outstanding was certainly Boris Becker, German child prodigy of tennis. He managed the Leimener from 1984, before his first win at Wimbledon, until 1993.

Other prominent tennis players who looked after Ion Tiriac as managers were Anke Huber, Henri Leconte and Goran Ivanisevic. From 1998 to 2004 he was President of the NOK of Romania.

Ion Tiriac did not stop at managing tennis professionals. He undertook numerous other business investments and activities that have made him the richest Romanian and billionaire over the years.

His activities bundled in the Tiriac Holding include industries as diverse as the establishment of a bank, health insurance, a leasing company for automobiles, a license as an importer for cars from Mercedes-Benz and, in addition to a travel company, an own airline.

Unlike many other entrepreneurs, he never suffered major shipwrecks or losses. Instead, his fortune grew steadily, so that he has been Romania’s richest citizen for some time.

Privately, he had several marriages, from which a total of three children emerged.

Ion Tiriac’s big hobby is his collection of cars, which is now open to the public. It has more than 350 different, high-quality vehicles from all eras. 165 of these are presented on a rolling basis in the Tiriac Collection, which also includes motorcycles. Many of the vehicles are also characterized by having previously owned prominent owners. These include vehicles from Elton John, Sammy Davis Jr. or Bernie Ecclestone.

Career highlights

From a sporting point of view, Ion Tiriac’s greatest success was winning the French Open 1970 in doubles. As a businessman, his successes are almost innumerable. This is how a modestly grown Romanian who knew hunger himself became one of the richest people on earth. The Forbes list ranks him as the only Romanian in the list of the richest people in the world at rank 1,818 (as of 2019).

Famous quotes

“Germany is like a cat that you throw from the 20th floor. She falls to her feet. ”

“I always looked in the rearview mirror to avoid making every mistake twice.”

“It is better for the character to feel hungry once in a lifetime.”

“In my opinion, the human relationship between two business partners offers far more guarantee for a successful business relationship than about 150 written contract pages.”

Amazing facts

In 2013 he was elected to the tennis hall of fame, but not in his role as a player but as a manager.

In 1987, he appeared in an American commercial for a type of beer.

Before winning the title in 1970, he had already reached the final in the doubles of the French Open in 1966, which he then lost with Ilie Nastase.

His nickname is, based on his place of birth, the “Brasov Bulldozer”.

Two stamps were issued in Romania showing him as an active tennis player.

In 2006, he was ranked 77th among the “100 greatest Romanians of all time”.

When women were allowed to take part in men’s tennis tournaments for the first time, it was Ion Tiriac who played the first match against a woman. He won 6-0, 6-0 against Abigail Maynard.


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