Bernard Ecclestone: Formula One King
Bernard Ecclestone came from humble beginnings. Born in Ipswich in 1930 to a Suffolk trawlerman, he was already a determined and an entrepreneurial person at a very young age. He would complete two paper rounds before going to school. The money he earned he would buy buns which he sold to his classmates at a profit.
Bernie was a born businessman leaving school at sixteen to follow his passion of racing motorbikes but also had a business angle buying and selling motorcycle parts. This enterprise gave rise to one of the biggest motorcycle dealerships in England.
Bernie was also into car racing but excelled more as a manager of drivers and eventually the business of racing than being a successful race driver. This was the better for him as he would forever transform the world of automotive racing. He bought the Brabham team in 1971 and in partnership with Max Mosley became a founder of the Formula One Constructors Association in 1974.
With some deft maneuvering he was able to win the rights to negotiate TV contracts. He saw that the future lay in the TV rights and also moved the sport to emerging markets outside of Europe. He was able to get better terms and also shared a proportion of this to teams. Given the fact that teams were getting practically nothing this was then favorably looked upon by the teams.
What was once an enthusiast sport he turned into a spectator sports earning big profits for the Formula One industry while pocketing a good share of it for himself. Bernie has his controversies and detractors but everyone agrees that he brought Formula One racing to a whole new level.