Sam Wyly was raised in small-town Louisiana. In 1957, he got his MBA from the University of Michigan and began his career as a salesman for IBM and then a manager for Honeywell. At 28, he created his first company, University Computing Company, which became the first of six enterprises that Wyly grew to over $1 billion valuations.
Over the next fifty years, he became one of America's top multiple entrepreneurs, building companies in industries ranging from oil and gold mining to arts and crafts, from software to budget steakhouses and clean electricity.
Wyly resides in Dallas and in Aspen, Colorado, with his wife, Cheryl, and has six children, twelve grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. His memoir, 1,000 Dollars & an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire, was published in 2008, and his illustrated business biography, Beyond Tallulah, by Dennis Hamilton, came out in 2011.