Icahn was raised in Far Rockaway, Queens section of New York City, where he graduated from high school and. His family is Jewish. He graduated from Princeton University with a BA in philosophy in 1957 and then joined the New York University School of Medicine, but he dropped out after two years to join the army.
Icahn has been married twice. In 1979 he married Liba Trejbal, Czech ballerina from the former Czechoslovakia. They split in 1993 and divorced in 1999 after years of litigation. Liba tried to undermine the prenuptial agreement signed before their marriage. Claim that was made under duress, while she was pregnant. Liba initially receive offer of about $ 1.5 million annually from Icahn, because he was worth billions at the time and eventually establish an undisclosed amount. They have two children, Brett (born. 1979) and Michelle (born 1982).
In 1999 he married his longtime assistant and former agent, Gail Golden. She has two children, Shana L. Golden and Christie R. Golden from a previous marriage.
Icahn began his career on Wall Street as a stockbroker in 1961 and in 1968, he formed Icahn & Co., a securities firm that focuses on risk arbitrage and trading opportunities. In 1978 he began taking controlling positions in various companies. It has taken significant or control positions in various corporations including RJR Nabisco, TWA, Texaco, Phillips Petroleum, Western Union, Gulf & Western, Viacom, Uniroyal, River Dan, Marshall Field, E-II (Culligan and Samsonite), American Can and many others.
Icahn earned a reputation as a ruthless “corporate raider” after his hostile takeover of TWA in 1985. As a result of this acquisition, Icahn systematically selling assets of TWA for payment of its obligations, the acquisition is a kind of purchase of the company, which is described as active drain. In 1988, Icahn is TWA personally gaining personal profit of $ 469 million, and TWA left with a debt of $ 540 million. In 1991, Icahn sells prized London routes TWA, on American Airlines for $ 445 million.
Icahn attempted to run as a major shareholder of Time Warner, which owns about 3.3% of the company valued at billions of dollars. It is actively seeking to influence the direction of Time Warner, often in conflict with the former CEO, Richard Parsons. Although Time Warner recently sold 5% of its subsidiary AOL, Icahn is pressure for further action to increase shareholder value. On February 7, 2006, a group led by Icahn and Lazard Frères CEO Bruce Wasserstein submit a proposal for 343 pages calling for the breakup of Time Warner into four companies and stock buybacks totaling about $ 20 billion. On February 17, 2006, Icahn-led group agreed with Time Warner not to challenge the re-election of the slate of board members of Time Warner in 2006 shareholders meeting.
In February 2013 Forbes listed Icahn is one of the 40 highest winning managers of hedge funds.
In July 2013 Icahn launched a bid to acquire Dell Inc.
On August 13, 2013 Icahn announced that the new composition is Apple, making the stock to 5%.
In October 2013, Icahn acquired approximately 61 million shares in Talisman Energy. He also announced that he would seek seat on the board of the company.
In November 2013, Icahn revealed that it has acquired 12.5% of Hologic, a manufacturer of medical devices and diagnostics. He subsequently influenced the board to increase its members two performing function of directors, supported by Icahn (every newly appointed director is the CEO of one of the holdings of Icahn).
Icahn made a significant contribution to Princeton University, to fund genomics laboratory that bears his name, Icahn Carl C. Laboratory at the Institute of Genomics integration of the university. He also made major contributions to hospital Mount Sinai, New York, of which he was governor, which in return gives its name to Icahn.
Financial position as at September 2014, the net value is estimated at $ 26 million.