The fabulous life of Bob Parsons, the billionaire founder of GoDaddy

GoDaddy went public today, nearly 10 months after filing for an IPO in June 2014. 

With a 28% stake, founder Bob Parsons is still the company’s largest shareholder. Parsons left his position as GoDaddy’s executive chairman in June of 2014. 

Since then, the Scottsdale, Arizona, resident has dedicated more time to doing charity work, growing his motorcycle collection, and scooping up real estate through his investment company, YAM Properties. 

Forbes estimates his net worth at $US1.84 billion — not bad for someone who grew up “poor as a church mouse” in Baltimore.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Parsons was a Marine and did a tour of Vietnam in 1969. He earned a Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and a Purple Heart for his service.

After selling his first company to Intuit for $64 million, he founded GoDaddy in 1997, at first calling it Jomax Technologies. In 2011, he sold the majority of GoDaddy to a group of private equity investors and left his position as CEO. In 2014, he left his position as executive chairman, but still sits on GoDaddy's board.

Since leaving his day-to-day role with the company, Parsons has used much of his time and wealth in charity work with the foundation he started with his wife Renee. They have donated nearly $72 million to charity over the last three years. Here he is outside of a school during one of several trips to Haiti.

Source: Forbes

The couple was married in 2009 in an extravagant ceremony at Keswick Hall outside Charlottesville, Virginia. Parsons uploaded a trailer for his wedding video to his YouTube page.

Source: YouTube

Here Parsons poses with Nascar driver Danica Patrick. GoDaddy has sponsored Patrick since 2006, and she's appeared in nearly 30 commercials for the domain registry site, some of them quite racy.

Parsons definitely shares Patrick's need for speed. He owns three motorcycle dealerships, in addition to his personal collection of bikes. Here's his BMW K1300S, complete with a Captain America paint job.

He also has a BMW 1200GT that's been painted with a skull pattern.

Here's a photo of his Ducati Diavel.

He also has a Ducati Panigale.

Parsons plans to build the world's biggest Harley Davidson dealership in Scottsdale. He has a few Harleys of his own.

Here's his Harley Screaming Eagle Road Glide.

And here's a Marines-inspired BMW GT1600 that he says he rode to Vegas to watch a Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight.

In 2011, he was awarded the Celebrity Fight Night Muhammad Ali Entrepreneur Award.

Source: Official site

In 2011, Parsons was heavily criticised after videos of him hunting elephants in Africa surfaced on the internet. He defended his actions, saying he was helping locals control the elephant population: 'These people are on the brink of starvation,' he told CBS. 'A lot of people are up in arms about this ... if they'd go on one of my trips to Zimbabwe, they'd understand.'

Source: CBS News

Parsons is also a golf enthusiast.

In 2013, he bought a 292-acre golf club for $600,000, renaming it the Scottsdale National Golf Club. In 2014, he unveiled a $35 million plan to redevelop some of the course's holes and build a new clubhouse.

In January 2015, he launched Parsons Xtreme Golf, a new company that makes golf clubs with a unique design and patented alloy technology. The clubs are making their debut on the PGA Tour with an endorsement deal with tour champion Ryan Moore.

Parsons also owns nine shopping centres in the Phoenix area, totalling more than 675,000 square feet of commercial real estate. His investment company paid nearly $37 million for the Scottsdale Grayhawk Center alone.

Parsons doesn't do anything halfway. Rather than just pour one bucket over his head for last summer's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, he had 10 full beer tubs of water poured on him. He donated $100,000 in total.

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