Status Profile: R. Donahue Peebles

by A.J. Washington  

Doesn’t his name sound like he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth? Well he wasn’t, but somehow he managed to land in the top 10 on Forbes Magazine‘s wealthiest African-American list. That’ big– Like Oprah, Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods big. In fact, Peebles is one of the few in the top ten to have not earned his millions through the entertainment or sports business.  

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R. Donahue Peebles is an incredible real estate mogul. At only 50 years old, Peebles is worth over $350 million– a figure he has earned in his lifetime, this isn’t old Hilton or Rockefeller money we’re talking about. His company, The Peebles Corporation is worth $4 billion dollars, with undergoing ventures currently in process. After attending college for one year at Rutgers University, Peebles dropped out of school and left for his native Washington, D.C., to begin his real estate career.  

At 24, Mayor Marion Berry appointed Peebles chairman of the city’s Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals; making him the youngest ever to serve as chairman on any board in Washington history. In 1983, Peebles used his natural instincts and founded RDP corporation, a residential and commercial real estate appraisal firm. In the 27 years since then, Peebles has expanded from just appraising, to owning, high-end offices buildings, and residential properties; mostly in Washington, Miami Beach, San Francisco and Las Vegas.  

He is an avid supporter of mentoring teenagers to show them the importance of entrepreneurship. R. Donahue Peebles is now a top-selling author, CNN real-estate analyst and currently serves on President Obama’s National Finance Committee.

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