Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 174 John Albert Sobrato $11.1B

Random fact: Started selling homes in Palo Alto while at Santa Clara University.


Sobrato controls the Sobrato Organization, a closely held real estate developer that owns more than 75 commercial properties in Silicon Valley. The Cupertino, California-based company's projects have included Apple's former headquarters. Its investing arm, Sobrato Capital, invests in funds and high-growth enterprises.

As of :
Last change No change
YTD change No change
Biggest asset Sobrato Capital
Country / Region United States
Age 83
Industry Real Estate
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

John Albert Sobrato's net worth of $11.1B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Sobrato's fortune is derived from the real estate he controls through closely held Sobrato Organization. The properties encompass more than 7 million square feet of commercial space, according to the company's website.

The assets included here are valued based on information provided by Sobrato in July 2021. Values were adjusted for changes in property indices in April 2022.

Valuations similar to those provided by Sobrato have also been determined by a separate analysis. This includes an assessment of commercial holdings based on average selling price per square foot of offices owned by Sobrato, according to three Silicon Valley property brokers. Residential properties were assessed using the median list price for homes in California, according to Zillow, an online real estate database.

Sobrato declined to comment on the net worth calculation.


Family: Married, 3 children

John Albert Sobrato was born in San Francisco on May 23, 1939, the son of Italian immigrants John and Ann. His mother sold the family's restaurant business after his father died in 1952, and used the proceeds to invest in real estate. After graduating from Santa Clara University in 1960, Sobrato founded property developer Midtown Realty.

He partnered with his mother a year later to construct his first development, a 14,000 square foot office for Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California. The next year, broker Carl Berg joined Midtown. The pair developed 2.3 million square feet of property in Silicon Valley before they split, after which Sobrato established Sobrato Development Companies.

By 1985, Sobrato's commercial real estate holdings had surpassed 5 million square feet. He began to diversify into residential property, developing his first apartment project in San Jose. A year later, Sobrato began to construct Apple's new headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Sobrato passed the daily operation of the company to his son, John, in 1997. He focuses on his philanthropic giving through the Sobrato Family Organization.

  • 1939 John Albert Sobrato is born in San Francisco.
  • 1960 Graduates from Santa Clara University. Founds Midtown Realty.
  • 1961 Partners with mother to build first development in Sunnyvale, California.
  • 1978 Ends partnership with realtor Carl Berg and founds Sobrato Development.
  • 1991 Develops Apple's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California.
  • 1996 Sobrato Family Foundation is formed to support causes in Silicon Valley.
  • 1997 Son John takes over day-to-day operations of real estate developer.
  • 2013 Son steps down from day-to-day operations to focus on philanthropy.