Congrats to Norman Braman, he’s #286 on Forbes list of the richest Americans. I’m sure it’s a net positive thing that he and his $1.7 billion call Miami home. But not when it comes to the local sports scene. Mr Braman has financed many successful campaigns to defeat sales tax proposals to upgrade the Orange Bowl over the years. Lately, he has turned his attention and monies to defeating the efforts to renovate downtown and build a baseball stadium at the Orange Bowl site in Little Havana.
I’m not sure why Mr Braman seeks to deny our local professional teams the benefits of a modern public facility to play in, like the one he enjoyed when he owned the Eagles in Philadelphia. Maybe he just wants a very quiet city to enjoy his retirement. I kinda picture him near the window, peeking out from behind the curtains, muttering about those darn Marlins kids. Most people his age who want to reduce noise typically just turn off their hearing aids. But when you’re that wealthy, apparently nobody ever just says ‘oye viejo, let it go.’ I guess that’s how the rich are different, they issue their friends 1099’s and rarely hear the word no. Even with their hearing aids turned on.
I was interested in the following description of his wealth in the Forbes report:
Swelling contemporary art market bumps Braman onto The Forbes 400; spectacular collection-worth an estimated $1 billion-includes pieces by Picasso, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, David Smith.
Not one Hispanic on that list, what gives! Joke.
But it did make me think. Isn’t Jeffrey Loria an arts dealer? Oh man, are we Miami sports fans caught in pissing contest between two Northeast arts dealers which, like everything NY, ended up in Miami? Tom Wolfe where are you? We can’t wait for that book any longer.
Wolfe had a great line that ‘no one ever got hurt in a literary [or artsy] fistfight.’ But that may not be true in our case. The Orange Bowl may have been imploded on top of Cubans, over an argument about Cubism, truly frightening.
Perhaps in sports, as in life, ‘you always hurt the one you love.’ In this case, I’m not feeling the love though. More like gratitude for a community in which Braman made his riches, but now feels increasingly alienated from. ‘Sure, he thinks, people still call, but for the donation. Always for the check, like I don’t know why they call. Oh well, the weather is to die for.’
All articles referenced are copied in full at end of post.
Net Worth: $1.7 billion
Source: Service, Self made
Marital Status: Married, 2 children
Hometown: Miami, FL, United States
Education: Temple University, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Swelling contemporary art market bumps Braman onto The Forbes 400; spectacular collection-worth an estimated $1 billion-includes pieces by Picasso, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, David Smith. Second son of eastern European immigrants born and raised in Philadelphia. First job: traveling liquor salesman. Built vitamin retailer Keystone Discount Stores. Merged with Philadelphia Pharmaceuticals 1967, cashed out for $1 million a year later, moved to Florida. Bought Cadillac dealership in Tampa 1972; today owns 16 dealerships in Miami, Palm Beach and Denver.
It sounds like Braman is an art collector not a dealer. The only thing he deals is cars.