Jaguars at Redskins 9/3/15 photo by Keith Allison –Wikimedia commons

Top 10 Astonishing Facts about Shahid Khan


Pakistan is a country best known for producing unbelievable talents and astonishingly brilliant minds in almost every field known to man. Whether it is sports, science, business, finance, art, literature, education or any other subject or forte.

Even while facing extreme financial hardships and undeviating adversities, this country has given birth to gems that shine while moving profusely towards their desired goals.

Shahid Khan born 18 July 1950 in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan is a Pakistani- American billionaire businessman and sports tycoon. He comes into the same category.

The son of a hardworking professor mother and born in a middle-class family whose bread and butter was served up courtesy of a small construction business.

Here are the top 10 astonishing facts about Shahid Khan not known to many.

1. He moved to the USA after turning 16 years old

Shahid “Shad” Khan was only 16 years old in the year 1967 when he moved to the US to pursue his dream of becoming an architect. He enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-champaign (UIUC) and his dorm room cost about $2 per night.

To cater for his own financial needs as a student, he got his first job as a dishwasher – a job which paid him about $1.21 per hour.

2. He dropped architecture for Industrial Engineering

Soon after, in his very first semester at college, he threw away his career blueprint of becoming an architect, citing the plain reason that the ‘architects just don’t make enough money and instead pursued a professional degree in Industrial engineering.

3. He dated his wife for 10 years

Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, right, signs sports memorabilia for Sailors photo by Specialist 2nd Class Gary A. Prill – Wikimedia commons

Khan first time met his wife Ann Carlson at his college bar at the University of Illinois in 1967. He went ahead and dated her for 10 years before they decided to get married in the year 1977.

Their matrimony has been blessed with two children, a daughter Shanna Khan and a son, Tony Khan born in 1982.

4. Khan started his first company from a savings and a loan

Khan worked at the automotive manufacturing company Flex-N-Gate Corporation while attending the University of Illinois. 

When he graduated he was hired as the engineering director of the company. In 1978, with $16,000 from his savings and a $50,000 loan from a Small Business Administration, he started Bumper Works.

Bumper works was a small business which made one-piece, lightweight bumpers for trucks.

5. He bought Flex- N- Gate from his former employer

In 1980, he bought Flex-N – Gate from his former employer Charles Gleason Butzow, bringing Bumper works into the field. Khan grew the company so that it supplied bumpers for the Big Three automakers.

In 1984, he began supplying a small number of bumpers to Toyota pickup and by 1987, Shahid Khan’s Flex-N- Gate became the sole supplier of bumpers for Toyota pickup trucks.

Within two years, his company had the honour of being the only supplier of bumpers for the entire Toyota line in the United States. Adopting the Toyota way increased company efficiency and ability to change its manufacturing process within a few minutes.

6. He owns  a National Football League team

Jaguars owner Shahid Khan 2014 at training camp photo by Melissa Hillier – Wikimedia commons

Khan’s first attempt to purchase a National Football League team came on February 11, 2010. He agreed to acquire 60% of the then-St Louis Rams from Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez subject to approval by other NFL owners.

However, he was unceremoniously denied the chance when Stan Kroenke the minority shareholder of the Rams, ultimately exercised a clause in his ownership agreement to match any proposed bill.

On November 29, 2011, Khan agreed to purchase the Jacksonville Jaguars from Wayne Weaver and his ownership group subject to NFL approval. Weaver announced this sale of the team to Khan later that same day. The purchase price was $770 million.

The NFL owners unanimously approved the purchase on December 14, 2011. The sale was finalized in January 2012 making Khan the first member of an ethnic community to own an NFL team.

7. Khan owns an English Football Club

Fulham Football Club. Taken during the home match, Fulham v Newcastle photo by Tony Grant – Wikimedia commons

The Jaguars aren’t Khan’s only kind of football. In July 2013, Khan negotiated the purchase of the London soccer club Fulham F.C of the Premier League from its Egyptian owner Mohamed Al-Fayed.

The deal was finalized on July 12, 2013, with the amount estimated by the press to be around $400 million. However, the official purchase price for the club was not announced with him stating it was “highly confidential.”

8. Shahid  is the  owner of  an $8.3 million estate

Shahid resides in posh penthouses and one of his is situated on the 61st floor of Park Tower in Chicago, one of Chicago’s Tallest buildings. A 9000 square-foot estate cost him a cool $8.3 million.

He also occupies the “Toronto Four Seasons” complex, located in the Yorkville district in Toronto (Canada).

9. Khan is the Lead Investor of All Elite Wrestling

Image of All Elite Wrestling CEO, GM and Head of Creative – Tony Khan photo by All Elite Wrestling – Wikimedia commons

In 2019, it was announced that Shahid Khan and his son Tony Khan are the lead investors behind the professional wrestling promotion All Elite Wrestling(AEW).

His son Tony Khan is also the promotion’s founder, CEO and President. All Elite wrestling commonly shortened to AEW is an American professional wrestling promotion based in Jacksonville, Florida.

It is considered the second-largest wrestling promotion in the United States behind WWE.

10. He is a multi-award winning philanthropist

Photo by Anton Maksimov on Unsplash

Khan has received several awards from the University of Illinois. A Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999 from the Department of Mechanical Science and Industrial Engineering; the Alumni Award for Distinguished Service in 2006 from the College of Engineering; and (with his wife, Ann Carlson) the Distinguished Service Award in 2005 from the University of Illinois Alumni Association are some of them.

In 2011, Mr Khan became a Lincoln Laureate, the state’s highest award for achievement given by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois for his philanthropic work in the state.

He might be known as the billionaire who once washed dishes for one dollar per hour but it is no surprise to learn that Khan is one of the best examples of someone who has achieved the American Dream, According to Forbes.

For that matter, Khan is also an interesting reminder that skilled immigrants with plenty of motivation are job creators rather than job takers, particularly since Khan’s business empire is centred upon a part of the United States that has not been treated well by the economic trends of the recent decade.

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