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Carl Icahn: A Timeline of Key Events and Fascinating Facts about the Activist Investor


  • Carl Celian Icahn is born on February 16, 1936, in Queens, New York City, United States.


  • Carl Icahn starts his career on Wall Street as a stockbroker at Dreyfus & Company.


  • Icahn establishes his own investment firm, Icahn & Co., which specializes in options trading.


  • Icahn launches a hostile takeover bid for the airline company TWA (Trans World Airlines), which eventually results in him gaining control of the company.


  • Icahn sells TWA’s profitable London routes to American Airlines for a substantial profit, leading to accusations of asset stripping.


  • Icahn acquires a significant stake in Texaco, an oil company, and initiates a proxy battle to gain control of the company. The battle ends in a settlement, with Icahn gaining several seats on the board of directors.


  • Icahn takes over the troubled airline, Eastern Air Lines, with the intention of turning it around. However, he is unable to save the company, and Eastern Air Lines goes bankrupt in 1991.


  • Icahn creates Icahn Enterprises LP, a diversified holding company, to manage his investments and business ventures.


  • Icahn launches a proxy fight against Yahoo!, urging the company to accept a takeover bid from Microsoft. Although unsuccessful in his bid, he garners attention for his aggressive tactics.


  • Icahn begins acquiring shares in the technology company Motorola and pressures the company to restructure and unlock shareholder value. This leads to the separation of Motorola into two separate entities, Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility.


  • Icahn purchases a large stake in the investment bank Bear Stearns, which is facing significant financial troubles during the subprime mortgage crisis. Ultimately, Bear Stearns is sold to JPMorgan Chase.


  • Icahn becomes involved in a highly publicized battle with the board of directors of Dell Inc., opposing the company’s plan to go private. Although unsuccessful in blocking the deal, Icahn negotiates a higher price for shareholders.


  • Icahn becomes an informal advisor to then-U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on regulatory reform. He plays a role in shaping Trump’s economic policies.


  • Icahn liquidates his entire stake in the energy company Cheniere Energy, which he had acquired in 2015. The move comes amidst concerns about the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market and declining energy prices.


  • Icahn discloses a substantial stake in the ride-hailing company, Lyft, and reportedly pushes for changes to increase shareholder value.


  • Icahn sells his remaining stake in Lyft after the company’s stock price rises significantly, resulting in a substantial profit.


  • Carl Icahn continues to be actively involved in the investment world, using his vast wealth and influence to pursue various investment opportunities and activism in publicly traded companies.

Interesting Facts

Carl Icahn is known as an activist investor, frequently taking significant stakes in companies and advocating for changes to boost shareholder value.

He has a reputation for aggressive tactics, including proxy fights, hostile takeovers, and public confrontations with company management.

Icahn has been involved in a wide range of industries, including airlines, energy, technology, and finance.

In addition to his investments, Icahn is known for his philanthropy. He has donated substantial amounts to various causes, including medical research and education.

Icahn is an avid poker player and has participated in high-stakes poker tournaments, occasionally donating his winnings to charity.

He is known for his strong opinions on corporate governance and often advocates for changes to board structures and executive compensation practices.

Icahn has faced criticism and legal challenges throughout his career, with some accusing him of short-term profit-seeking at the expense of long-term company health.

Despite his controversial reputation, Icahn’s influence and impact on the corporate world cannot be overlooked, as he has left an indelible mark on numerous companies and industries.