156. Russ Weiner

Forbes - - PROMOTION -

The son of right­wing talk­ra­dio star Michael Sav­age, Weiner un­suc­cess­fully ran for the Cal­i­for­nia State As­sem­bly in 1998, then went to work for his fa­ther’s friend Mau­rice Kan­bar, the Skyy Vodka founder. When Kan­bar re­jected his idea for an en­ergy drink, Weiner used a $50,000 mort­gage on his condo in Sausal­ito, Cal­i­for­nia, to launch Rock­star in 2001, driv­ing around San Fran­cisco in an old limo painted with the Rock­star logo to pro­mote the brand. To­day the en­ergy drink served up in a tall­boy pulls in an es­ti­mated $725 mil­lion in sales but is a dis­tant com­peti­tor to ri­vals Mon­ster and Red Bull.

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