Hot on the heels of his latest New York Times profile, in which the outspoken hedge fund titan offers up some of his choicest quotes yet, here's a look back at some of the most memorable Ackmanisms, presented without comment.
1. "I want to have one of the great investment records of all time, why not?" — April 27, 2011
2. “[It's] the Mona Lisa of apartments. I thought it would be fun [to buy a $90M penthouse] so myself and a couple of very good friends bought into this idea that someday, someone will really want it and they’ll let me know.” — October 25, 2014
3. “Let me win? That doesn’t exist in my house. No one lets anyone win. Fight to the death.” — October 25, 2014
4. “What I love about tennis is that I’m better now than I was when I was 20." — April 27, 2011
5. “If your wife asks you whether she looks good in a dress, and every time you tell her she looks beautiful, she won’t believe you, but if you tell her, ‘Well … ,’and then other times, ‘Wow, that’s a really beautiful dress,’...
...then she really appreciates it. And it’s the same thing with friendships and CEOs.” — April 27, 2011
6. On the High Line and the Armory and the work he and his landscape architect wife did on them: “Great brands, but underperforming, so we had to fix them." — April 27, 2011
7. “I was angry at Carl Icahn for many years, as you know,” ~wipes his eye~ "my eye is tearing. It’s not emotion. I have a clogged tear duct.” October 25, 2014 (Ackman, a passionate public speaker, has been known to cry publicly.)
8. On being scooped on a book idea on how to write college essays: "I suffered extreme psychological torture. I said, the next time I have a really good idea, I’m not going to listen just because someone is older than me." — October 25, 2014
9. Transcript from a recent deposition (below) — October 23, 2014
Q. Have you had your deposition taken before?
(Ackman) A. Yes
Q. I imagine a number of times?
A. A number. I love depositions.
Q. Do you recognize Exhibit 19?
A. It was an e-mail that I sent [Valeant CEO] Mike [Pearson].
Q. And you say "I have a good idea."
Q. Do you recall what you were talking about?
A. I have a lot of good ideas.
10. "Actually, I called him and an assistant picked up, whoever was in the office, and I said, 'Tell Carl I'm calling to forgive him.' True story. She said, 'Oh, I think he'll really like that.'" — July 17, 2014
11. "They’ve never had someone like me prepared to say the truth about [Herbalife]. I’m going to the end of the earth. I had a moral obligation." — March, 2013
12. “David [Einhorn] and I are friendly, but it’s like we were boyfriend and boyfriend, and then one day we were just friends, and now we’re just friendly I have enormous respect for him. I stopped calling him and he stopped calling me." — March, 2013
13. “The single most important thing to me, personally, is the ability to speak my mind. I’m a change-the-world guy, and I know that sounds like bullshit or whatever. You can say I’m self-righteous. You can say that I’m disingenuous." — March, 2013
14. "I have more money than I need. I don’t need to work for a living. I do this because I love what I do." — March, 2013
Mariah Summers is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Summers reports on hospitality, travel and real estate.
Contact Mariah Summers at email@example.com.
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