B. Wayne Hughes was introduced to racing by his father, who was a factory worker. In 2004, he bought Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky.
The historic farm, which was home to Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed, originally was purchased by Leslie Combs II in 1937. It descended into bankruptcy amid the crash of the Thoroughbred market in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and Combs died in 1990. Ted Taylor purchased the main 496-acre tract of Spendthrift at a court-ordered bankruptcy auction in 1994. The next buyer was Bruce Kline and partners in 2000, then Hughes stepped in.
In 1972, driving along a Texas road, Hughes noticed a self-storage warehouse loaded to capacity, thought about the concept, and founded Public Storage. He parlayed a $50,000 investment into a fortune worth billions.
Hughes also created and supports the Parker Hughes Cancer Center in Minnesota, named after a son who died of cancer at age eight.