George Lindemann

CATEGORY: Billionaires
COMPANY: Southern Union Company
INDUSTRY: Natural Gas

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: He joined his father’s cosmetic and hair care company in the 1950s, which eventually diversified into pharmaceutical products. It was in this realm that Lindemann oversaw the development of the world’s first permanent-wearing soft contact lens, Permalens. He sold that company for $60 million and went on to become the president of cable television pioneer Vision Cable Communications. Lindemann is also chairman and CEO of Activated Communications, Inc., a diversified communications firm headquartered in New York City. In 1983, he founded Metro Mobile, which grew into the country’s second-largest cellular company. In 1992, it merged with Bell Atlantic, netting Lindemann a cool $2.6 billion. In 1990, the diversified entrepreneur began his current role as the chairman of the board and CEO of Southern Union Company, which is one of the country’s largest natural gas-line companies.

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