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17. Gene Haas

gene haas

SILVERSTONE CIRCUIT, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Gene Haas, Owner and Founder, Haas F1, and Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 during the British GP at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday July 03, 2022 in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

Age 70
Occupation Owner, Haas Racing and Haas Automotive
Nationality American
Position Last Year 16

For Gene Haas, founder of the Haas F1 Team in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, that has proven to be his formula for success in business, racing and philanthropy.

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Gene Haas was born on November 12, 1952, in the industrial town of Youngstown, Ohio. For someone born in what used to be known as the “Industrial Heartland of North America,” it is appropriate that Haas has become a captain of industry, where his company, Haas Automation, is the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America.

Haas’ family moved to Los Angeles when he was still a child, where his father worked as a designer of electrical cabinets for Hughes Aircraft, and his mother was a schoolteacher. The second oldest of four children, Haas’ family instilled at an early age the importance of hard work and responsibility. He delivered newspapers in elementary school and, at age 14, began working in a machine shop where he swept floors and kept the facility clean. After only six months, Haas was setting up lathes and conventional milling machines. He continued to work at machine shops through high school and college, mastering the machining techniques that would lead him to found Haas Automation in 1983.

Haas graduated from high school in Mission Hills, California, in 1970. After high school, he attended California State University-Northridge, where he studied engineering and business. He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of science in accounting and finance.

In January 2014, Haas confirmed that he had formally submitted to the FIA his interest in entering a team in the F1 championship in 2015 or 2016, initially named Haas Formula and Haas Racing Developments. On April 11, 2014, Haas announced that he had been granted a license from the FIA. On May 28, however, it was revealed that the team would delay its debut until 2016, with Haas officially confirming the postponement on June 4. In September 2014, the team took up its current name Haas F1 Team to better promote its involvement in the chosen sport. In December 2014, it was further reported that Haas purchased major assets from the bankrupted Marussia F1 team, which was confirmed in early 2015.

The Gene Haas Foundation has provided charitable donations since 2001, including Hospice Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Los Angeles Mission, YMCA Kids Camp, NAACP, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, MS Society, and others.

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