Frank Lowy is least to say, is an old man who still has a punch to pack. He was born on 22 October 1930 in erstwhile Czechoslovakia, now known as Slovenia. He is Australia’s 4th richest man, 5.6 billion dollars to be exact according to Forbes. He was able to live through the Nazi tyranny in World War 2 despite the fact that he was a Jew.
He moved places frequently until finally coming to Australia and settling down for good. He took part in two major wars, one as a civilian and in the other as a combatant and luckily was able to live to tell the tale and become rich.
Shirley Lowy wife of Frank met him at a Jewish dance when Frank was 21. They could only be described as love at first sight. One tumultuous fact about their relationship remains that, it wasn’t until 1980’s that Frank told his wife about his hard past and the holocaust and the killings. It was after they have had 3 sons, Stephen, Peter and David.
David was born in 1954 and is like father a businessman and has an interest in aviation and music. He handles the private investment fund of Lowy family. Second son of Frank, Peter Lowy also involved in the family business, acts as the Chief Executive Officer of Westfield Corporation whose co-founder is Frank. He earlier managed Westfield investments in the US and the UK.
Frank’s youngest son Steven Lowy who was born in 1962, he is Westfield Corporations CFO and the CEO of Scentre corporation. He was also awarded the Member of Order of Australia. Altogether, it is estimated that Lowy family is worth in excess of billion dollars and is the most prominent family in Australia.
Life of Frank Lowy
After the takeover of Czechoslovakia by Germany early in the war, Frank fled across to Hungary which was captured only a few months later. There he was subject to the holocaust being perpetrated by the Nazi officials; here he was forced to live in the ghetto where he worked sneaking food in and out of the ghetto. Later, near the end of the war, he and his family were shifted to the horrid place of Auschwitz where he lost his father after being shot by a German SS soldier; he also lost his mother later to starvation. He was liberated by the allied forces and went to France from where he went to Israel. He was drafted into military service in Israel and fought in the 1948 Arab-Israel war. After the war, he decided to go to Australia in 1952 and start a new life.
In 1953 he met a fellow immigrant John Saunders and he got into a business partnership with him, which later went on to become the Westfield Corporation. The company took off with a shopping centre in Blacktown in Sydney’s western suburbs. The company was listed in Australian Stock Exchange in 1960 and it went into an expansion explosion from 1970 opening stores across America and UK. In 1995, Lowy was appointed Director of Reserve Bank of Australia and reappointed in 2000 and 2003 finally concluding his term in 2005.
In 2008 Lowy and his sons were investigated for tax fraud and money laundering based on some stolen documents from their company offices. He was soon cleared of all charges and no action was taken against him or his sons. In 2011, Lowy retired from all positions and took advisory role instead, handing over the reins to his sons.
Lowy is also famous for contributing to society and does charity as well as community service. His total charity as of 2015 was more than 350 million dollars, one of the largest amounts in modern history. Lowy has also established the Lowy Institution for Foreign Policy which is a think tank for Australia’s betterment. Lowy has had a full life and his life story stands as an example for all to take lessons from the past and to not let it affect your future.