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Get To Know the ‘Sharks’ and How They Made Their Money

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MediaPunch/Shutterstock / MediaPunch/Shutterstock

The 14th season of “Shark Tank” debuts on ABC with a live premiere on Sept. 23 (8 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central). The panel of six permanent “Sharks” will return, joined by a returning group of guest Sharks and two making their first-ever appearances. One is an Academy Award winner and entrepreneur, and the other is a tech billionaire.

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“Shark Tank” gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their fledgling companies to some of the most successful business people in the world. These Sharks invest their own money in these companies — but how did the Sharks themselves get so rich? Take a look at how Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran and the other Sharks earned their fortunes.

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Barbara Corcoran

Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran is one of the original Sharks. She worked as a waitress before starting her real estate company in New York City with a $1,000 loan. Twenty-five years later, she now runs a $5 billion real estate business and is the author of “Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business.”

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Mark Cuban

Entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban started his first business at age 12, selling garbage bags door to door. He became a billionaire in 1998 when he and his business partner took their online audio streaming company, Broadcast.com, public, CNBC reported. In 2000, they sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.7 billion.

Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the founder and owner of AXS TV, and is the co-owner of the Landmark Theater chain, Magnolia Pictures and Magnolia Home Video. He joined “Shark Tank” in its second season as a guest and became a permanent Shark the following season.

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Lori Greiner

Lori Greiner has made her millions by creating and selling more than 1,000 products, including some of the most popular jewelry and cosmetic organizers of all time. Her products have been sold on QVC and by retailers across the world. Greiner is also the author of “Invent It, Sell It, Bank It.” Greiner also holds 120 domestic and international patents. She became a Shark during the show’s fourth season in 2012.

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Robert Herjavec

Born in the former Yugoslavia, Robert Herjavec has worked his way to the top. His past jobs have included delivering newspapers and waiting tables, and he later launched a computer company from his basement. Herjavec’s companies in the technology space have brought him his wealth; he has built and sold several IT companies. In 2003, he founded Herjavec Group, which has grown to become a global leader in information security.

Herjavec is one of the original Sharks and has appeared on all 13 seasons of the show. He will be appearing on season 14 as well.

Michael Desmond / ABC

Daymond John

Branding expert Daymond John made his fortune as the founder of FUBU. He is also the author of five books and is currently the CEO of the consulting firm The Shark Group. Like Herjavec, John is one of the original Sharks who appeared on the show’s first season.

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Kevin O’Leary

Kevin O’Leary — aka Mr. Wonderful — has founded a number of successful businesses. After getting his MBA, he founded the production company Special Event Television. In 1986, O’Leary founded SoftKey Software Products (later called The Learning Company), which grew to become the second-largest consumer software company in the world. In 1999, Mattel acquired the company for $4.2 billion. In 2003, O’Leary co-founded storage facility company Storage Now, which was acquired by In Storage REIT in 2007 for $110 million.

He now leads the O’Leary Financial Group and also is the founder and chief sommelier of O’Leary Fine Wines. He has appeared on all 13 seasons of “Shark Tank,” and will be appearing on season 14 as well.

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Gwyneth Paltrow

Born into a show-business family, Gwyneth Paltrow began acting at a young age, appearing in summer plays in the Berkshires in Massachusetts at age 5. She had roles in a string of films in the 1990s that culminated with an Academy Award for Best Actress for 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love.” She continued acting into the 2000s, including appearances in “Iron Man” and other Marvel Cinematic Universe films, but simultaneously went to work creating Goop, a wellness and lifestyle brand. She joins Season 14 as a guest Shark.

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Tony Xu

Born in China, Tony Xu moved to the United States at age 5, and his mother went to work as a server in a Chinese restaurant. And he didn’t forget his restaurant roots. He and two friends he met while studying at Stanford University co-founded food delivery service DoorDash in 2013, and he currently serves as CEO. After a 2020 initial public offering, Xu became a billionaire, Forbes reported. He still owns 4.6% of stock plus options and is worth $1.3 billion, per Forbes. He’ll be a guest Shark on Season 14.

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Emma Grede

Six years ago, Emma Grede teamed with Khloé Kardashian to launch Good American, a fashion brand for all shapes and sizes of women. It started with what was billed as the biggest denim launch ever, but the company has expanded the line into activewear, shoes and more. She also is a co-founder of the SKIMS shapewear company with Kim Kardashian but has business interests beyond fashion. She co-founded Safely, a line of plant-powered, chemical-free cleaning products. Gaede, a guest Shark in Season 13, is back for Season 14.

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Peter Jones

Peter Jones knows the ups and downs of business. He pretended to play businessman at age 7, then started his second business before he turned 18. He created a multimillion-dollar computer business but lost it by age 29 and wound up sleeping in a warehouse. He regrouped, became an executive and a computer company in the United Kingdom and started another business, Phones International Group, that grew to have annual sales of more than $400 million within five years. A Season 13 guest Shark, he returns for Season 14.

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Daniel Lubetzky

Recurring Shark Daniel Lubetzky is the founder and CEO of the healthy snack company KIND. He is also the founder of PeaceWorks Inc., Maiyet, the OneVoice Movement and the Lubetzky Family Foundation. Lubetzky appeared on several “Shark Tank” episodes during seasons 11 through 13 and will be a recurring Shark on season 14.

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Kendra Scott

Jewelry designer Kendra Scott started her namesake company in 2002 with only $500, selling her designs door-to-door to local boutiques. The brand now has a billion-dollar valuation with over 100 stores nationwide, and an e-commerce and wholesale business. Scott appeared on season 12 of “Shark Tank” as a recurring Shark and returns this season.

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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.