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Steven M. Rales

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Title: Steven M. Rales  
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Subject: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (film), Mitchell Rales, Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox (film), Altra Industrial Motion
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Steven M. Rales

Steven M. Rales
Born 1951 (age 64–65)
Nationality United States
Alma mater B.A. DePauw University
J.D. American University
Occupation Businessman
Film producer
Known for co-founder of Danaher Corporation
Net worth US$ 3.8 billion (July 2014)[1]
Spouse(s) Christine Plank (divorced)
Lalage Damerell
Children three (with Plank)[1]
Parent(s) Ruth Rales
Norman Rales
Family Mitchell Rales (brother)

Steven M. Rales (born 1951) is an American businessman and film producer, and chairman of Danaher Corporation. He is listed as the 118th richest person in America, with a value of $3.2 billion.[2]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Investments 2
  • Indian Paintbrush 3
  • Philanthropy 4
  • Personal life 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

Raised in a Jewish family,[3] Rales is one of four sons of Norman and Ruth Rales. His father was raised in an orphanage, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York City and later became a businessman who sold his building supply company in Washington, D.C. to his employees in what was the first employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) transaction in the U.S.[4] His father was also a philanthropist founding the Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation and the Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service. Steven Rales has three brothers: Joshua, Mitchell, and Stewart.[5][6]

Rales graduated in 1969 from Walt Whitman High School, in Bethesda, Maryland.[7] in 1973 from DePauw University, where he was in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. In 1978, he was awarded a J.D. from American University.[8]


In 1979, he left his father's real estate firm to found Equity Group Holdings, with his brother Mitchell Rales. Using junk bonds, they bought a diversified line of businesses: first Mastershield, a vinyl siding manufacturer, then Mohawk Rubber Company, then Diversified Mortgage Group. They changed the name to Diversified Mortgage Investors, in 1978, and then Danaher, in 1984.

In 1985 they bought Easco, an aluminum siding manufacturer, and hand tool manufacturer.

In 1988, they made a hostile takeover bid for Interco (including Converse, and Ethan Allen).[9][10] When the company responded with a poison pill, they sued, and prevailed in court.[11] They later ended the bid after five months with a profit of $60 million.[12]

In the 1980s, the AM side of WGMS was sold off to Washington, D.C., venture capitalists Steven and Mitchell Rales, who converted the music station into the first frequency for WTEM, a sports-talk station, in 1992.

He has served as Chairman of the Board of Danaher since January, 1984.[13]

In 1995 Steven and Mitchell Rales founded Colfax Corporation, a Richmond, Virginia industrial pumps manufacturer. In May 2008, Steven engineered the initial public offering of the company.[14]

Indian Paintbrush

Rales owns a production company Indian Paintbrush,[15] which has funded The Darjeeling Limited (2007), and Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).[16][17][18]

The word "Indian" refers to Native American.

The company was also involved in Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012), Labor Day (2013), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015).[19]


He has been a major supporter of the Washington Ballet. In 2002, he was a major donor in the dedication of the Peeler Art Center at DePauw University.[20] He was a donor to GolfRocks.[21]

Personal life

In 1983, he married Christine Plank, a 1974 DePauw University alumna.[22][23] They had three children,[24] Alexander, Gregory, and Stephanie.[25][26] They divorced in 2003.[24] In 2012, he married Lalage Damerell.[27]


  1. ^ a b Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Steven Rales July 2014
  2. ^ "Steven M. Rales Profile".  
  3. ^ Washington Jewish Week: "Five local Jews make Forbes richest list" October 7, 2009
  4. ^ "Remembering Norman R. Rales 1923-2012". Jewish Family Service. March 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ Sun Sentinel: "Norman Rales, orphan to wealthy businessman and philanthropist, is dead at 88" By Lisa J. Huriash March 15, 2012
  6. ^ Jewish Family Service: "Ruth Rales, 81, Philanthropist by Tal Abbady April 1, 2004
  7. ^ Murphy, Carolyn and Lynn Stander (September 2005). "We Knew Them When".  
  8. ^ "Bio: Mitchell P. Rales and Steven M. Rales".  
  9. ^ David A. Vise; Steve Coll (August 23, 1988). "The Rales Brothers Play for Big Stakes; Little-Known Area Family Builds an Industrial Empire". The Washington Post. 
  10. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; Request on Interco". The New York Times. August 4, 1988. 
  11. ^ Patrick A. Gaughan (2002). Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Restructurings. John Wiley and Sons. p. 217.  
  12. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; Rales Brothers Sell Their Interco Stake". The New York Times. December 16, 1988. 
  13. ^ "Steven M. Rales".  
  14. ^ Thomas Heath (July 7, 2008). "The Quiet Dynamism of the Brothers Rales". The Washington Post. 
  15. ^ Kaufman, Anthony (2007-09-07). "Money men with a yen for films". Variety. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  16. ^ , hollywood.comSteven M. Rales
  17. ^ , imdb.comSteven M. Rales
  18. ^ Kim Eisler (December 11, 2007). "What’s a DC Billionaire Doing Aboard The Darjeeling Limited?". Washingtonian. 
  19. ^ "Indian Paintbrush".  
  20. ^ , DePauw UniversityPeeler Art Center Dedicated as Donor Remembers the Building's Namesake, Her Former Professor
  21. ^ , GolfRocksSponsors
  22. ^ Washingtonian Magazine: "Best Places To Live" by Kimberly Palmer And Mollie Reilly May 2012
  23. ^ DePauw University: Peeler Art Center Dedicated as Donor Remembers the Building's Namesake, Her Former Professor October 11, 2002
  24. ^ a b Find A Case: CHRISTINE P. RALES, APPELLANT v. STEVEN M. RALES, APPELLEE September 28, 2006
  25. ^ The Ron Brown Scholar Program:Remembering Norman R. Rales - 2010 American Journey Award Recipient" March 13, 2012
  26. ^ Hartford Courant: In the Matter of Marilyn Plank July 11, 2007
  27. ^ "Steven Rales & Lalage Damerell".  

External links

  • "The 400 Richest Americans #128 Steven Rales".  
  • Steve Rales Makes 96-yard TD reception in 1970 Monon Bell Classic

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