Donald Bren Net Worth: Career & Lifestyle

Donald Bren

An American businessman Donald Bren’s net worth is a massive $17 billion.

He is chairman and owner of the real estate development company based in the US, Irvine Company.

As of May 2022, Bren is ranked 112 on the 2022 Forbes Billionaires List.

Donald Bren
Donald Bren (Source: Celebrity Net Worth)

The future billionaire started his business career in 1958 by founding the Bren Company.

Apart from being known as a businessman, Bren is widely recognized as a famous philanthropist.

Donald Bren | Quick Facts

Full Name Donald Leroy Bren
Celebrated As Donald Bren
Date of Birth May 11, 1932 
Place of Birth Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Age 92 Years Old
Nationality American
Ethnicity White
Gender Male
Horoscope Taurus
Relationship Status Married
Wife Diane Bren (divorced)
Mardelle Bren (divorced)
Brigitte Muller (m. 1998)
Height 1.75 m, 5 feet, and 8 inches
Weight 54 kg, 119 pounds
Mother Marion Newbert
Father Milton Bren
Education University of Washington
Profession Businessman, Entrepreneur, Property Developer
Net Worth $17 Billion
Last Update  May 2024

Donald Bren | Net Worth and Income

An American businessman Donald Bren’s net worth is a staggering $17 billion.

Primarily, he is a businessman who started his career in the late 1950s.

In 1958, Bren built his first house with a loan of $10,000 in Newport Beach, California.

International Paper purchased the Bren Co. for a massive $34 million in 1972.

However, after the recession occurred, Bren repurchased it for $22 million the same year.

In 2019, Forbes ranked Bren as the wealthiest real estate developer in the US.

donald bren speech
Donald Bren (Source: Brooksy)

Moreover, he was ranked 32nd on the “Richest American” list with an estimated net worth of a massive $17 billion.

In 1983, Bren owned the majority of the shares of 146-year-old Irvine Company and was elected as the chairman of the board.

Nearly $10 billion of his net worth can be attributed to his office properties.

Similarly, the shopping centers and retail properties are worth around $7 billion.

Also, the billionaire currently owns a 97% stake in the Met Life building in Manhattan.

Apart from business and real estate, he is also involved in philanthropy, with over $1 billion in contributions.

Net Worth of Donald Bren in Different Currencies

Let’s have a look into Donald Bren’s net worth in different currencies, including the cryptocurrency BitCoin. 

Currency Net Worth
Euro € 16.32 Billion
Pound Sterling £ 13.86 Billion
Australian Dollar A$ 24.5 Billion
Canadian Dollar C$ 21.93 Billion
Indian Rupee ₹ 1.3 Trillion
BitCoin ฿ 572,281.88

Donald Bren | Houses

The billionaire businessman resides in his lavish mansion in Newport Beach, California, which has a property value of over $5 million.

He is a neighbor to the Hollywood stars like Humphrey Bogart, Nicholas Cage, and John Wayne.

Bren’s residence is built on a large land area estimated at 5,000 to 9,000 square feet.

donald bren house
Donald Bren House (Source: Bornrich)

The beach is famous for its beautiful homes, lovely weather, the best shopping experiences, and the Orange County Airport.

Moreover, Bren also owns two other houses in California, a Sun Valley Ranch and an apartment in New York.

Donald Bren | Lifestyle

Donald Leroy Bren was born to Marion Newbert and Milton Bren.

Bren’s mother, Marion, was a successful civic leader, while his father, Milton, was a naval officer and successful movie producer.

He had a grueling childhood as his parents got divorced in 1948.

Milton was remarried to Claire Trevor, an Academy Award-winning actress, while his mother remarried to steel businessman Earle M. Jorgensen.

Bren graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from the University of Washington.

donald bren casual
Donald Bren (Source: Forbes)

Bren was married to Diane Bren, and the couple was blessed with three children.

However, the marriage could not last long, and he remarried Mardelle Bren in 1977.

Bren had a beautiful daughter named Ashley Bren, who was born before their marriage in 1968.

He married an entertainment lawyer Brigitte Muller in 1998 in a church ceremony in Beverly Hills, California, for the third time.

The couple lives happily together in Newport Beach, California.

Donald Bren likes to keep a low public profile and does not like to appear in frequent interviews or be more public.

In 2005, The Los Angeles Times canceled a pending article because the Irvine Company threatened to withdraw advertising.

The article was written on how the fictional character Caleb Nichol of the television show The O.C. was based on the billionaire Donald Bren.

Later, The Times denied the allegation and claimed that the article wasn’t published for timing reasons.

Donald Bren’s net worth as of May 2024 is a whopping $17 billion.

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Donald Bren | Charity

As much wealth as he has accumulated, Donald Bren has always been a provider for the needy ones.

He has donated billions of his wealth to charities, fundraisers, and institutions.

The influential and commanding business person in Southern California has been one of the most generous philanthropists of all time.

According to Business Week magazine, Ben has contributed more than $1.3 billion of his wealth to various charities.

The billionaire has donated to various causes like education, research, and conservation.

Donald Bren Charity (Source:

Bren has donated more than $200 million for maintaining programs in schools and institutions in Southern California.

Moreover, he donated $20 million to the UC Irvine School of Law, $1 million to the Marine Corps University, and $2.5 million to the Burnham Institute for Medical Research.

Also, the billionaire donated $20 million to UC Santa Barbara’s School of Environmental Science and a staggering 50,000 acres of land to Orange County parks and recreation.

He also received the California University’s highest honor “Presidential Medal” for his contributions to the university.

In 2007, Bren donated $2.5 million to the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, California.

The warm-hearted businessman has supported THINK Together, a campaign that provides after-school services for K-12 students in Southern California.

Donald Bren | Investments

Bren was a born investor and a risk-taker. He first invested in building a house in 1958 with a loan of $10,000.

In the same year, his business career flourished as he founded the Bren Company, which built homes in Orange County, California.

A few years later, in 1963, he, along with his partners, established the Mission Viejo Company (MVC) and purchased 10,000 acres to develop the city of Mission Viejo, California.

By 1996, the ambitious businessman had purchased all outstanding shares to become the sole owner of the historical company.

The company currently owns more than 120 million square ft. of real estate, most of which is located in Southern California.

The company’s portfolio includes many hotels, golf courses, more than 500 commercial office buildings, 125 apartment complexes, and numerous shopping centers.

The real estate tycoon has additional investment properties in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Silicon Valley.

As of May 2024, Donald Bren’s net worth is a staggering $17 million.

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Donald Bren | Career

After graduation, Donald became a member of the Beta Theta Pi. fraternity.

He also attempted for the 1956 Olympic ski team, but he was not selected due to his injury.

Later, he served his nation in the United States Marine Corps as an officer.

After entering the business world, Bren and a group of investors purchased the Irvine Company in 1977.

Bren owned 34.3% of the company as the largest stakeholder, and furthermore, he earned the title of Vice-chair of the board.

Donald Bren (Source: Business Insider)

Moreover, by 1983, he was elected chairman of the board, and he was also the majority owner of the firm.

Through philanthropy, the billionaire expanded with his contributions to various causes such as education, conservation, and research, among other areas.

As a result, he was honored with the National Philanthropy Day of Orange County “Donald Bren Legacy of Giving Award” in 2010.

Moreover, he serves on the board of trustees at Caltech, a private research university, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

In 2007, he was elected as a Fellow with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in the sector of Business, Corporate and Philanthropic Leadership.

Three Facts About Donald Bren

  • The Los Angeles Times named Bren both the most powerful and wealthiest person in Southern California in 2006.
  • In 2011, the Urban Land Institute awarded Donald Bren their first Vanguard Award, rewarding him as “one of the most consequential developers in American history.”
  • Bren worked as a carpenter’s helper on his father’s buildings during his childhood.


When and how did Donald Bren become a billionaire?

Donald Bren bought out several other shareholders in 1983 and increased his position to 86% in Irvine Company. Moreover, the ambitious businessman became the sole owner in 1996, buying out minority shareholders for at least $80 million.

Has Donald Bren ever been sued?

The billionaire went to trial in 2010 after he was sued by his ex-girlfriend and their two children seeking $130 million in damages from alleged unpaid child support. However, the billionaire won the case eventually.

Is Donald Bren richer than Donald Trump?

Donald Bren is richer than Donald Trump as his net worth as of  May 2024 is $17  billion. However, the former US President’s net worth is $3 billion

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