- Birthday: October 10, 1967
- Education: Santa Clara University
California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s net worth is estimated at $10 million by CelebrityNetWorth.com. Newsom, who is running to be the next governor of California, previously served as the mayor of San Francisco for eight years. Prior to entering politics, he co-founded 11 businesses before selling his stake when he decided to run for office.
Newsom launched his business career after college thanks to a wealthy family friend, The Los Angeles Times reported in a 2018 profile. He founded the PlumpJack wine store that grew into the PlumpJack Group, which now manages nearly two dozen businesses from nightclubs to restaurants to hotels.
Along with his business career, Newsom worked his way up through California politics, starting out on the San Francisco Parking and Traffic Commission and moving upward. Newsom is running to be the next governor of California. Polls show him as the odds-on favorite to defeat fellow millionaire John Cox.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Gavin Newsom Got His Start Thanks to The Wealthy Getty Family
Newsom’s early success came thanks to his father’s friendship with the descendants of J. Paul Getty, an oil tycoon who at one point was the richest man in the world. The Los Angeles Times reports that Gavin’s father, retired state appeals court judge William Newsom III, was longtime friends with Getty’s sons, Gordon and Paul. William Newsom served as the administrator to the Getty sons’ trusts and said he considered the Gettys “almost an extension of my own” family.
Gordon Getty, whose net worth was estimated at $2.1 billion by Forbes, took Gavin along on trips when he was a child. He later paid for Newsom’s first wedding and went on to invest in 10 of Newsom’s 11 businesses.
When Newsom decided to run for mayor of San Francisco in 2003, he sold his business stakes to Getty for $1.7 million. After he won the lieutenant governor’s race in 2011, he bought some of the business interests back at an undisclosed price. Getty loaned Newsom the money to buy the interests back, The Times reported, adding that he has continued to be one of the biggest donors to Newsom’s political campaigns.
2. Gavin Newsom Co-Founded 11 Companies
Newsom turned the PlumpJack Winery into the PlumpJack Cafe Partners, which soon launched the PlumpJack Cafe in San Francisco in 1993, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
He and his partners later opened the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn in 1994, another winery in Napa Valley in 1995, the Balboa Cafe Bar and Grill in 1995, the PlumpJack Development Fund in 1996, the MatrixFillmore Bar in 1998, the PlumpJack Wines shop in Noe Valley in 1999, the PlumpJackSport retail clothing line in 2000, and another Balboa Cafe in 2000. He also invested in five restaurants and two clothing stores.
According to a 2003 San Francisco Chronicle profile, his businesses holdings were valued at $6.9 million at the time.
3. Gavin Newsom is Married to Millionaire Filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Newsom married his second wife, Jennifer Siebel, in 2008 after meeting on a blind date set up by a mutual friend, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The couple has four children: Montana, age 9, Hunter, age 7, Brooklyn, age 5, and Dutch, age 2. Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a former Republican who is currently listed as an independent, according to The Chronicle.
According to IMDB, Jennifer Siebel Newsom has 40 acting credits since 2002 and has directed three documentaries: Miss Representation in 2011, The Mask You Live In in 2015, and The Great American Lie in 2018.
Gavin Newsom was previously married to former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle. The Sacramento Bee reported that the Gettys spent $233,000 on the couple’s 2001 wedding. The two divorced in 2006. Guilfoyle has since been touted her relationship with Donald Trump Jr. on social media.
4. Newsom Has Been Involved in Politics Since The Early 1990s
The Sacramento Bee reports that Newsom worked on former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown’s 1996 campaign, which led to his appointment on the Parking and Traffic Commission. Brown appointed Newsom to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors a year later.
After serving on the board for seven years, Newsom ran to succeed Brown as the mayor in 2004, defeating attorney Matt Gonzalez in a close race. He won his subsequent reelection with more than 73 percent of the vote.
Newsom defeated Republican Abel Maldonado to become California’s lieutenant governor in 2010 and easily won his reelection in 2014. Polls show Newsom leading the California gubernatorial race by double-digits.
5. Newsom’s Opponent John Cox Is Also a Millionaire
Newsom is running against John Cox, who founded an Illinois law firm in 1981 that he says is now worth around $200 million, according to The Los Angeles Times. Cox ran for office, unsuccessfully, multiple times in Illinois and in 2008 became the first Republican to enter the 2008 presidential race (he didn’t win). He moved to California in 2007 and became a full-time resident in 2011, Politico reported.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Cox rejected comparisons to Newsom. “And if you’re going to compare Mr. Newsom and I, compare the fact that I started at the bottom, worked my way and built my business with efficiency and quality,” he said. “He started by being funded by a billionaire, Gordon Getty.”
FiveThirtyEight gives Newsom nearly a 99 percent chance to become the next governor of California.