Patrick Clarke | Bloomberg
According to the report, B. Wayne Hughes, who made his fortune by starting pioneering companies in two different corners of the real estate world, died Wednesday at home on his horse farm in Kentucky.
He was 87 years old.
Hughes was the founder of Public Storage, the world’s largest self-service storage company. He later founded American Homes 4 Rent, the third largest single-family landlord, with some 55,000 rental homes. According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, he personally amassed a fortune of $ 5.2 billion, although his family’s fortune was much larger. His daughter Tamara Gustavson is the largest individual shareholder in both companies, with a fortune of $ 8.3 billion.
Hughes was born in Gothebo, Oklahoma. The son of a sharecropper, he served as a US Navy officer before graduating from the University of Southern California, where he later became a major donor.
He founded Public Storage in 1972 and spent the decades to build an extensive portfolio of mini-warehouses that met the growing need for storage space in America.
Hughes stepped down as CEO and took up horse breeding. He bought Spendthrift Farm in Lexington in 2004 and won six Breeders Cup races. In 2020, his Authentic foal won the Kentucky Derby.
In 2011, when the foreclosure crisis hit the US, Hughes founded American Homes 4 Rent, acquiring distressed properties and converting them into rentals.
According to the statement, in addition to Tamara, he is survived by his wife Patricia, his son Wayne Jr., as well as four grandchildren.