These days, the 83-year-old Formula One president and CEO is as likely to appear in the news for his personal life as his professional one; he's been married three times, has three children (including two daughters whom the tabloids love), and a 198-foot yacht.
On Tuesday, Ecclestone paid $100 million to settle a long-running trial in Germany over allegations that he bribed a banker as part of the sale of a stake in the motor sport business.
It was a small price to pay for the racing tycoon, who is worth $4.2 billion (up $4 million from last year). Ecclestone said the settlement would allow him to "do what I do best, which is running F1," after more than three years of litigation.
Let's take a look at Ecclestone's awesome life.
Bernard "Bernie" Charles Ecclestone was the son of a fisherman, born in a hamlet of Suffolk, England, in 1930. As a kid, he would complete two paper routes before school every day, spend the money on bakery buns, and then sell the buns at a profit to his classmates.
He left school at the age of 16 to work at a local gas station and pursue his hobby of building motorcycles. He eventually started selling parts and opened his own motorcycle dealership.
After a mediocre run at becoming a Formula One race car driver himself, Ecclestone managed drivers and then bought a team in 1972. He began to broker contracts and TV deals for other F1 teams, and by 1997 he had successfully turned F1 into a profitable global franchise.
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