Wilbur Ross Fast Facts

Wilbur Ross, US billionaire, chairman and chief executive officer of W L Ross & Co. LLC, reacts during a Bloomberg Television interview in London on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.

(CNN)Here's a look at the life of financier Wilbur L. Ross Jr.

Birth date:
November 28, 1937
Birth place: Weehawken, New Jersey
Birth name: Wilbur Louis Ross Jr.
    Father: Wilbur Louis Ross Sr., a lawyer
    Mother: Agnes (O'Neill) Ross, a teacher
    Marriages: Hilary (Geary) Ross (October 9, 2004-present); Betsy (McCaughey) Ross (December 7, 1995-August 2000, divorced); Judith (Nodine) Ross (May 26, 1961-October 1995, divorced)
    Children: with Judith Nodine: Jessica and Amanda
    Education: Yale University, A.B., 1959, Harvard University, M.B.A., 1961
    Other Facts:
    His nickname is "King of Bankruptcy," as he builds new companies from the assets of defaulted ones.
    Ross is known for investing in distressed companies in a wide range of industries including auto parts, steel, textiles and financial services.
    1976-2000 -
    Ross works for the investment bank Rothschild Inc. During his tenure, he becomes a top bankruptcy adviser.
    January 1998 - Ross pledges $2.25 million towards then-wife and Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey Ross's campaign for Governor of New York. He withdraws the funding in September and files for divorce in November.
    2000 - Purchases a small fund he started at Rothschild and opens his own private equity firm, WL Ross & Co. LLC.
    2002 - Establishes the International Steel Group (ISG), with himself as chairman of the board, through a series of mergers and acquisitions starting with Bethlehem Steel Corp.
    December 2003 - ISG goes public.
    2004 - Ross forms the International Coal Group (ICG) after purchasing the assets of Horizon Natural Resources in a bankruptcy auction.
    October 2004 - Merges ISG with Mittal Steel for $4.5 billion.
    January 2, 2006 - A West Virginia explosion at the Sago Mine, operated by ICG subsidiary Wolf Run Mining Co., leads to the death of 12 miners. Families of the dead and Randal McCloy, the lone survivor, sue ICG and WL Ross & Co. claiming negligence. All of the lawsuits are settled by November 2011.
    April 2010 - Purchases a 21% stake in Richard Branson's Virgin Money. In November 2011, Ross helps Branson fund a successful bid for the British bank Northern Rock.
    August 2, 2010 - In an interview with Charlie Rose, Ross states that he's fine with higher taxes on the wealthy as long as the government puts the money to good use.
    June 2011 - Arch Coal, Inc. acquires International Coal Group (ICG) for $3.4 billion.
    September 2011 - W.L. Ross & Co. is among a group of five American and Canadian investors who purchase a 34.9% stake in the Bank of Ireland. Ross' share is 9.3%.
    March 21, 2016 - Nexeo Solutions, a chemical distribution company, announces their merger agreement with W.L. Ross Holding Corporation. The merger is valued at $1,575 million.
    August 24, 2016 - The SEC announces that W.L. Ross & Co will pay a $2.3 million fine for failing to properly disclose fees it charged.
    November 30, 2016 - Ross announces in a CNBC interview that President-elect Donald Trump has asked him to serve as his commerce secretary. His nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.
    February 27, 2017 - The Senate confirms Ross as commerce secretary by a 72-27 vote. He is sworn in the next day.