Sam Zell, a man generally regarded as a genius within commercial real estate, has died today at his home due to complications from a recent illness, the family of Equity companies has announced. Zell, 81, was chairman of Equity Group Investments, Equity LifeStyle Properties, Equity Residential, and Equity Commonwealth. 

A self-made entrepreneur, over the course of his 60-plus-year career Zell launched and grew hundreds of companies that spanned numerous industries across the globe. But he was most widely recognized for his critical role in creating the modern REIT, which today is a more than $4 trillion industry.

Erika Morphy



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