Richest BusinessRichest Billionaires
Net Worth:
$2 Billion
Jul 25, 1935 - Jun 6, 2017 (81 years old)
Saudi Arabia
💰 Compare Adnan Khashoggi's Net Worth

What was Adnan Khashoggi's net worth?

Adnan Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian businessman, known for his extravagant lifestyle and business deals, who had a net worth of $2 billion at the time of his death in 2017. An arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi was briefly listed as the richest person in the world in the early 1980s when his net worth peaked at $4 billion, earning him the nickname "Great Gatsby of the Middle East." Among his endeavors, Khashoggi headed the Triad International Holding Company, a multinational private investment corporation that encompassed a range of major properties and businesses around the globe.

Adnan Khashoggi was intimately involved in both the Iran-Contra scandal and the Lockheed bribery scandal. He was implicated in the Iran-Contra affair but was later acquitted in the United States. He was also the catalyst for a series of bankruptcies that required the largest payout in the history of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

During his career as an arms dealer, he brokered many extremely lucrative deals between the U.S. and Saudi royal family. His clients included Lockheed Corporation, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Raytheon, and Northrop Corporation. He received $106 million in commissions from Lockheed Martin alone between 1970 and 1975.

His yacht was used the James Bond film Never Say Never Again. At his peak, he reportedly spent $250,000 per day funding his lifestyle.

Murdered Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was Adnan's nephew.

Divorce Settlement

When Adnan divorced his wife Soraya Khashoggi, the case dragged on bitterly for five years. When it was all said and done, a judge ordered Adnan to pay $875 million to Soraya. It was the largest divorce settlement in history at the time and still one of the most expensive divorces ever.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Adnan Khashoggi was born on July 25, 1935 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. His father Mohammad was the personal doctor of King Abdul Aziz Al Saud. He had two sisters who later became authors: Samira, born the same year, and the younger Soheir. Khashoggi went to Victoria College in Alexandria, Egypt, and then went to the US where he attended California State University, Chico, Ohio State University, and Stanford University. While in school, he met future King of Jordan Hussein bin Talal, and learned how to make a deal when he facilitated a business meeting between the fathers of two classmates. Khashoggi ultimately left his studies to pursue a career in business.

For one of his first major deals, a large construction company was having difficulties with the trucks it was using in the desert. Using money given to him by his father, Khashoggi bought a number of Kenworth trucks, which had wide wheels that made it easier to traverse the desert sands. Khashoggi made $250,000 leasing the trucks to the construction company, and became Kenworth's Saudi Arabia-based agent in the process.

Business Career in the 60s and 70s

Khashoggi continued to facilitate major deals in the 60s and 70s, helping to bring together Western companies to satisfy the defense needs of the Saudi Arabian government. Among the companies he worked with was Lockheed, which paid Khashoggi $106 million in commissions between 1970 and 1975. For Lockheed, he provided strategy, advice, and analysis, and became the arm of the company's marketing. Later, Khashoggi established a number of companies in Liechtenstein and Switzerland to handle his commissions, and made contacts with major figures such as CIA officers Kim Roosevelt and James H. Critchfield.

To gain influence with important people around the world, Khashoggi often sent them large payments and women; one of his "gifts" was to then-US President Richard Nixon. Additionally, Khashoggi earned notoriety as an arms dealer, brokering deals between the Saudi government and firms in the US. His overseas clients included Raytheon and the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation.

Adnan Khashoggi Net Worth

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Triad International

One of Khashoggi's most significant business endeavors was the Triad International Holding Company, which he owned. Formed in the early 60s, it expanded to encompass properties on five continents, and had a number of subsidiary companies focused on areas such as energy, technology, and financial resources. Among Triad International's holdings were shopping centers, hotels, oil refineries, banks, construction companies, a gold mine, automobile franchises, and the NBA team the Utah Jazz. Through Triad, Khashoggi owned the Mount Kenya Safari Club, also known as Ol Pejeta Conservancy; the $250 million dollar San Francisco Town Center East; the oil refinery Long Beach Edgington Oil; the Colorado Land & Cattle Company; and Sahuaro Petroleum in Phoenix, Arizona.

On the real estate side, Khashoggi's Triad holdings included private residences in places such as Beirut, Geneva, Cairo, Salt Lake City, Rome, Paris, and London; he also owned a multi-floor penthouse in New York's Olympic towers. Additionally, Khashoggi owned a number of super-yachts, helicopters, and private jets, including three Boeing 727s.

Iran-Contra and Imelda Marcos Affairs

During the Iran-Contra affair in the mid-to-late-80s, Khashoggi was implicated as a middleman in the arms-for-hostages exchange. It was discovered that he had borrowed money for these purchases from the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, with both US and Saudi backing. Later controversy came when Khashoggi donated millions of dollars to build a sports arena at American University; a member of that school's board of trustees, he was indicted on charges of fraud in 1989.

Also in the late-80s, Khashoggi ran into legal trouble when he was arrested in Switzerland for concealing funds and racketeering with Imelda Marcos, the widow of exiled Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. Detained for three months, he stopped his bid for extradition when US prosecutors reduced his charges. In 1990, Khashoggi and Imelda Marcos were acquitted by a federal jury in Manhattan.

Media Appearances

During the pinnacle of his career, Khashoggi was a popular figure who was often in the media, appearing on a number of television shows and notable magazine covers. In 1985, he was on the American television series "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," hosted by Robin Leach. In 1991, he was featured on the British television series "After Dark." On the late-night discussion program, he appeared alongside Lord Weidenfeld and former Prime Minister Edward Heath, among others.

Personal Life

In 1961, Khashoggi married 20-year-old Englishwoman Sandra Daly, who later took the name Soraya when she converted to Islam. Together, they raised one daughter, Nabila, and four sons, Mohamed, Khalid, Hussein, and Omar. The pair divorced in 1974. In 1978, Khashoggi wed his second wife, the Italian Laura Biancolini, whom he had met when she was 17. Biancolini also converted to Islam, taking the name Lamia; with her, Khashoggi had a son, Ali. Later, in 1991, Khashoggi married his third and final wife, Shahpari Azam Zanganeh, whom he was with until 2014.

In 2017, while being treated for Parkinson's disease at St Thomas' Hospital in London, Khashoggi passed away at the age of 81.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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