Frank Lowy, born on October 22, 1930, in what is now Slovakia, is an Australian businessman and philanthropist, best known for co-founding the global shopping center company Westfield Corporation. Lowy’s life took a significant turn during World War II when he and his family fled the Nazi-occupied Europe, eventually settling in Australia as refugees. This experience undoubtedly shaped his resilience and determination in the face of adversity.
In 1952, Lowy and his business partner, John Saunders, established Westfield Development Corporation, which later evolved into the Westfield Group. The company became a powerhouse in the shopping center industry, managing and developing iconic shopping destinations worldwide. Lowy’s vision and strategic leadership played a pivotal role in the success of Westfield, transforming it into one of the largest and most influential shopping center operators globally.
Aside from his business achievements, Frank Lowy is known for his philanthropic endeavors. He has generously contributed to various causes, including healthcare, education, and cultural initiatives. His commitment to giving back underscores a broader legacy beyond business, reflecting a sense of responsibility and compassion for the communities he has touched throughout his remarkable journey.
Here are 10 fun facts about Frank Lowy to give more information about him.
- Holocaust Survivor: Frank Lowy’s life began in adversity. He and his family escaped the Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, ultimately finding refuge in Australia. His journey from a Holocaust survivor to a successful businessman is a testament to his resilience.
- Soccer Enthusiast: Lowy is a passionate soccer fan. In addition to his business ventures, he served as the Chairman of Football Federation Australia and played a key role in promoting soccer in the country.
- Business Beginnings: Lowy started his entrepreneurial journey by opening a small delicatessen in Sydney in 1952. This modest beginning laid the foundation for his later success in the shopping center industry.
- Westfield Co-Founder: Together with John Saunders, Lowy co-founded the Westfield Development Corporation, which evolved into the global giant Westfield Group. The company became synonymous with innovative and expansive shopping center developments.
- Awards and Honors: Lowy has received numerous awards for his contributions to business and philanthropy, including being made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) and receiving the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship.
- Family Business: Westfield Group remained a family business, with Lowy’s sons, Peter and Steven, becoming involved in its leadership. The family’s close-knit involvement contributed to the company’s success and expansion.
- Empire Builder: Under Lowy’s leadership, Westfield became one of the world’s largest shopping center operators, with properties in major cities across the globe, including London, New York, and Sydney.
- Philanthropic Efforts: Frank Lowy is involved in various philanthropic activities. He has donated substantial amounts to medical research, educational institutions, and cultural organizations, demonstrating a commitment to giving back to the community.
- Airport Privatization: In addition to his contributions to the retail sector, Lowy played a role in the privatization of Sydney Airport in the 2000s, further diversifying his business interests.
- Post-Retirement Ventures: After stepping down from Westfield, Lowy continued to explore new ventures. He invested in startups and remained engaged in business activities, showcasing a lifelong passion for entrepreneurship.
Frank Lowy, a Holocaust survivor turned global business icon, epitomizes the triumph of resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. From the humble beginnings of a delicatessen in Sydney to co-founding the retail juggernaut Westfield, his journey is a testament to the transformative power of determination and vision. Lowy not only shaped the landscape of the shopping center industry but also left an indelible mark on the world of soccer and philanthropy. His commitment to community, evident in his philanthropic endeavors, reflects a deep sense of responsibility born from his own experiences. Frank Lowy’s legacy extends beyond the business realm; it encompasses a narrative of overcoming adversity, creating opportunities, and giving back to society. As a trailblazer in business and a compassionate philanthropist, Lowy’s impact resonates far beyond the properties and projects that bear the Westfield name, leaving an enduring legacy of resilience, success, and generosity.