Philip Anschutz

Philip Anschutz

Formal First Name
12/28/1939 - present

Philip Anschutz is a famed businessman who was once the sole billionaire in Colorado. He has built fortunes in oil and gas, railroads, telecommunications, real estate, sports, and entertainment. Anschutz has been compared to 19th-century tycoon J.P. Morgan for his success across a wide range of businesses and to Warren Buffett for his relatively modest lifestyle. Today, his most known business is the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns arenas, sports teams, and music festivals around the globe.

  • After earning his bachelor's degree in business, Anschutz intended to start law school. However, he had to return home just before his first semester started to take over his father’s company, Circle A Drilling, which was struggling due to his father’s alcoholism and other health problems.
  • He turned Circle A Drilling around and earned large returns in Wyoming.
  • He moved to Denver in 1965 to start his own oil business, the Anschutz Corporation.
  • He aims to build one of the world's biggest wind farms on 300,000 acres he owns in Wyoming.


  • Anschutz co-founded Major League Soccer, the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, San Jose Earthquakes, and the New York / New Jersey MetroStars. 
  • His Anschutz Entertainment Group operates more than 100 arenas and concert venues worldwide.
  • He owns stakes in the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, and venues including the Staples Center, O2 Arena, and the Home Depot Center. 
  • He invests in family films such as The Chronicles of Narnia. 

  • In 1984, Anschutz entered the railroad business by purchasing the Rio Grande Railroad's holding company, Rio Grande Industries. 
  • In 1988, the Rio Grande railroad purchased the Southern Pacific Railroad under his direction.
  • In 1996, he became Vice Chairman of Union Pacific with the merger of the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Corporation. 


  • In 1970, Anschutz bought the 250,000-acre Baughman Farms, one of the country's largest farming corporations, in Liberal, Kansas for $10 million.
  • In 1971, he acquired 9 million acres along the Utah-Wyoming border. This produced his first fortune in the oil business.
  • In the early 1980s, the Anschutz Ranch, with its 1 billion barrel oil pocket, became the largest oil field discovery in the United States since Prudhoe Bay in Alaska in 1968. He sold a half-interest in it to Mobil Oil for $500 million in 1982.
  • With his acquisition of land in other Western states, he is thought to own more farm and cattle land than any other single private citizen in the United States.


  • As one of the world's wealthy billionaires, Anschutz has been making a name for himself in the philanthropic community. 
  • The Anschutz Foundation supports a broad variety of community service, cultural and arts groups, health facilities and initiatives, and think tanks.
  • Together with his wife Nancy, he has contributed over $100,000,000 to the new medical, dental, nursing, and pharmacy campus of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Colorado, which is now named the Anschutz Medical Campus in their honor.