Martin Wygod, a Winner on Wall Street and the Racetrack, Dies at 84

Martin Wygod, a Winner on Wall Street and the Racetrack, Dies at 84

Martin J. Wygod, a Wall Street whiz who graduated from strolling horses after races to proudly owning and breeding championship thoroughbreds when he made thousands and thousands from investing in on-line corporations that offered prescription drugs by mail and pruned medical paperwork, died on April 12 in San Diego. He was 84.

His daughter, Emily Bushnell, stated he died in a hospital from problems of lung illness.

Raised close to two racetracks in suburban New York and mentored by a software program pioneer, an investor and a gambler, Mr. Wygod was stated to have been the youngest managing associate of a New York Stock Exchange brokerage within the Nineteen Sixties. He turned a millionaire earlier than he was 30, and in 1993 he offered Medco Containment Services to Merck for $6 billion after constructing it into the nation’s largest mail-order prescription drug firm and profit manager in lower than a decade. The sale netted Mr. Wygod $250 million.

“The title of the sport sooner or later goes to be data,” Jan Buck, chairman of Princeton Group International, a pharmaceutical trade consulting agency, commented on the sale to The New York Times in 1994. “Marty Wygod made $6 billion for himself as a result of he developed a knowledge base.”

Mr. Wygod then turned the chairman of WebMD, a frontrunner in on-line well being data providers, which he offered in 2017 for a reported $2.8 billion.

He married Pamela Yellin in 1980, and in 1995 they moved from New Jersey to River Edge Farm, a 110-acre unfold in Buellton, Calif., the place they raised fillies and colts to grow to be prime racehorses.

Ranked as California’s main thoroughbred breeders in 2006, 2007 and 2008, the couple, each with and with out companions, bred 124 stakes winners, in keeping with BloodHorse journal. They moved their breeding enterprise to Kentucky in 2010.

Martin Joshua Wygod was born on Feb. 1, 1940, in Manhattan to Max Wygod, an accountant and haberdasher who had immigrated from Poland, and Rose (Greenwald) Wygod.

His affection for horses started when he was a pupil at Lawrence High School in suburban Nassau County, the place he befriended Bobby Frankel, who would grow to be a Hall of Fame coach. As an adolescent, he frolicked with classmates at Aqueduct and Belmont Park, the place he walked horses to chill them down after exercises and races.

After graduating in 1961 from New York University, the place his daughter stated he studied Hinduism and Buddhism, Mr. Wygod started his Wall Street profession with a $20,000 starter reward from his mom (the equal of a little bit greater than $200,000 in the present day).

He advised The Times in 2000 that his mentors have been Fletcher Jones, who pioneered the commercialization of pc software program and initiated Mr. Wygod into the expertise enterprise; Fred Carr, an funding manager; and Manny Kalish, a gambler who handicapped races for New York’s tabloid newspapers and tutored Mr. Wygod on choosing winners.

Mr. Wygod assisted Mr. Jones, a founding father of Computer Sciences Corporation, in taking the corporate public. That providing helped develop Mr. Wygod’s $20,000 in seed cash into about $50 million by the Eighties.

In 1965, Mr. Jones gave Mr. Wygod two horses for his twenty fifth birthday.

“They each gained the primary trip,” Mr. Wygod stated in 2000. “I used to be hooked.”

His secure would win greater than a dozen main races through the years.

When he was 23, Mr. Wygod began his personal brokerage agency; he offered it three years later for $10 million. The subsequent yr, he and two different buyers, Bernie Marden and Albert Weiss, bought a controlling curiosity in Glasrock Medical Services, which produced gadgets for the well being care trade. By 1982, by promoting most of his curiosity in Glasrock and one other firm, he had parlayed his authentic $2 million funding into $125 million.

Mr. Carr had been an early backer of Medco. Michael Milken, one other earlier investor in Mr. Wygod’s ventures, recalled to The Times in 2000 that an impetus for Medco was a criticism from Lee Iacocca, then the chairman of Chrysler, that prescribed drugs for auto staff have been costing the corporate a small fortune. Medco negotiated reductions and incentives for workers who purchased lower-priced generic medicine.

“It was one of many nice creations of a enterprise, actually from scratch,” Mr. Milken stated. He added, “Anything that Marty does, I’d put money into, besides the horses.”

Actually, the horses have been no exception. The racing operation run by the Wygods recorded profession purse earnings of greater than $21 million, together with $2.8 million of their finest yr, 2009.

In addition to his spouse, Mr. Wygod is survived by their son, Max; their daughter, Ellen; a stepson, Adam Yellin; his sister, Marian; and three grandchildren.

His daughter is an equestrian to whom, together with the bloodstock marketing consultant Ric Waldman, Mr. Wygod gave his 3-year-old colt Resilience, who might rating yet another notch in Mr. Wygod’s legacy. By profitable the Wood Memorial in New York on April 6, Resilience earned a berth within the one hundred and fiftieth Kentucky Derby on May 4.



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