161. Igor Olenicoff


Olenicoff, who immigrated from Russia at 15, attended community college before qualifying for a government grant to pay for his studies at USC—ON the condition he either work in government or teach after graduation. He satisfied the requiremen­ts by teaching evening courses at Valley College (now called Los Angeles Valley College) in business math for 4 years while working at Shell Oil and taking M.B.A. classes. Today Olenicoff owns more than 8 million square feet of office space and 12,000 residentia­l units across 5 states through his Olen Properties, based in California.

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