Jim Goldstein – Living the American Dream

Jim Goldstein is a real estate investor who has become a celebrity for his hedonistic lifestyle as America’s biggest basketball sports fan, globe trekking fashion fan, architectural leader, and his rich and famous, jet set life. The biggest NBA fan in the world, Jim Goldstein reportedly attends over one hundred NBA games each season, including most of the home games for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. He resides in Los Angeles.

The Pursuit of Happiness with Jim Goldstein

He flies around the country to see games, and has become friends with many top NBA players and coaches, often being photographed with them. Jim Goldstein also counts as friends – numerous former NBA players, including; Wilt Chamberlain, Sam Cassell, and Dennis Rodman, and many more.

World’s Biggest NBA Fan

His wild and haute couture fashion has made him a celebrity – aside from his ability to buy the best seats, clothes, and parties that the sports and fashion world has to offer. His massive passion for the NBA has been featured in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and ESPN.

Jim Goldstein

NBA Superfan

NBA commissioner David Stern stated of Jim Goldstein, “He has so much invested in our sport. He probably has the largest investment of any fan in America, so we get a kick out of him. He has got quite a flair, and we love him as a sort of a superfan.”

The Mystery Billionaire

While non-academic sites online state that “Goldstein refuses to disclose how he made his fortune or his net worth,” The Hollywood Sentinel found out. And while The Wall Street Journal estimated that Jim Goldstein was worth over a billion dollars, he laughed and stated that he is not really worth that much. Regardless of the specific amount of his net worth, it is undoubtedly plenty.

Architectual Landmark

The man of mystery certainly is an intriguing one. While Hugh Hefner lives the life of a playboy and started the magazine of the same title devoted to the nude female form, James Goldstein created a real estate empire, and made his canvas twofold; One, his own fashion sense, which he takes court-side to the NBA games as well as to top fashion shows around the world, along with his social circle of rich and famous friends, and secondly, his constant and ever expanding architectural growth and beautification of his magnificent mansion, nestled high up in the Hollywood Hills of Bel Air, beyond Beverly Hills, California.

Life is His Canvas

For Jim Goldstein, his environment ‘is’ his canvas, from where he travels, what he sees, what he experiences, where he lives, and right down to what he wears. In this sense, he is a pop artist who has invented himself as his own work of art – a Tom Petty-esque, rugged, sun soaked Cowboy draped in Galliano. Even a number of supermodels have been spotted wearing long t-shirts with his image emblazoned on the front. Jim Goldstein interests popular culture because he is pop. And, as he gracefully ages, he admits, he is ‘not’ slowing down.

Jim Goldstein and Jayne Mansfield

Jim at his Mansion overlooking the city
Jim Goldstein at his Mansion overlooking the city

According to Interview Magazine, Jim Goldstein reported that he once dated screen legend Jayne Mansfield, who he met at The Whisky A Go Go on Sunset Boulevard, which had just opened, while he was still in college. His current circle of friends include the rich, the famous, and the famously beautiful.

Preserving the Legacy of John Lautner

Jim Goldstein’s house, which has been featured in Town & Country, Architectural Digest, and the New York Times Magazine among more, was designed by John Lautner, the beloved student of master Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1963. After buying the property in the 1970’s and finding it in a terrible state of disrepair, Jim Goldstein commissioned John Lautner to improve the house and make it as magnificent as the architect wanted. When asked about the budget, Jim told John Lautner, “There is no budget. Let’s do it in the best possible way.” And so it is with that spirit, that the magnificent mansion went on to be showcased in a number of feature films including ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,’ and ‘The Big Lebowski’ among others, as well as rented out to photograph some of the most beautiful models on the planet for international fashion magazines.

Light Artist – Skyspace

Jim Goldstein has put in an installation by light artist James Turrell in a concrete structure below the main residence, known as “Skyspace.” His bedroom features a movable glass wall that slides open with a push of a button on his remote control. To say that the home is stunning would be an understatement.

Jayne Mansfield dancing with Jim Goldstein
Jayne Mansfield dancing with Jim Goldstein

The Home With a Nightclub

Jim Goldstein is now working directly with Duncan Nicholson, who took over after Lautner’s death in 1994, working in his similar style. His current project? He bought the property right next door, and is building a guest house, glass office overlooking the city, mountainside – for his staff, and a nightclub and bar. Yes, a nightclub – right below his infinity walled tennis court. Talk about living the American dream.

Arriving at the Historic Mansion

I drive up the winding road in Bel Air, and arrive at my destination. I see an antique Rolls Royce in the garage – which is open, and a second car nearby. Jim told me that I would find him out on the tennis court, to meet him out there. I arrive at the court, and it is amazing. The court looks brand new, flawlessly painted deep blue and forest green, it appears to disappear infinitely into the clouds and sky beyond the mountain which it sits on, beneath the home.

A young, well built player is hitting tennis balls rapidly over and over from one side of the empty court to the other side. Nearly a hundred shiny yellow fuzzy tennis balls are scattered around the court and on the court side lawn, which feels like sod. Jim and I sit briefly in two lawn chairs near the court, then he offers me my choice of flavor of vitamin water out of the court-side refrigerator, and we walk up the stairs to go inside the famous house.

While most bachelor pads are a mess, the home of the single Jim Goldstein is immaculate. No clutter, no debris, no dust. It is perfectly organized, spacious, and sparse, in an aesthetically comfortable sort of way. It feels like a museum with a great party waiting to happen – and in fact, it is.

Jim Goldestein: In the U.S. I go by Jim, when I am in Europe, people don’t understand the name Jim…

Jim Goldstein: So I use James over there.

Jim Goldstein: Yeah.

Jim Goldstein: When I was 18, I enrolled in Stanford University (*1) which was my first taste of California, and then I used to visit L.A. quite frequently while I was at Stanford, and decided that I really loved L.A., so I went to business school, and got my masters degree at UCLA, and I chose it mainly because I wanted to try living in L.A., and I stayed here ever since.

(*1 Stanford is regularly ranked among the top five universities in the world, along with Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, and MIT).

Jim Goldstein: In business, an MBA.

Jim Goldstein: Yeah.

Jim Goldstein: Well after getting my Masters degree, I went to work for a very dynamic young guy who had just had his picture on the cover of Time Magazine, and learned a lot working for him, in the investment property field. Looking back, I probably worked for him longer than I should have, but I eventually went out on my own, which became more lucrative, and I was completely independent which is really what I’m all about, although even when I was working for another company, I had a lot of freedom in terms of how I dressed, what hours I put in, and that sort of thing. That isn’t typical for somebody working for another company, but I did always enjoy a certain degree of freedom.

Jim Goldstein: His name was Art Carlsberg.

Editors Note: There is little public history to be found on Art Carlsberg. Art’s brother, Richard P. Carlsberg, was also a real estate developer, who passed away on October 17th, 1994. According to the Los Angeles Times concerning Richard, “He was founding president of the giant Santa Monica-based real estate development firm Carlsberg Corp.” and later, “head of the historic Brooks Lake Lodge near Togwotee Pass in Wyoming.” The Los Angeles Times further states that “At one point Carlsberg Corp. was one of the Southland’s biggest land development firms. It was sold to Southmark Corp. for $53 million in cash and securities in 1985 (…) Richard Carlsberg later took over the Wyoming resort, a ski and snowmobile attraction in winter and dude ranch in spring and summer.”

Jim Goldstein: It was in property investment.

Jim Goldstein: Well it was a variety.

Jim Goldstein: In California.

Jim Goldstein: Well, with Rick, because an unfortunate accident ended up killing Art Carlsberg. I stayed working with his brother on a partnership and then after a few years, went off on my own, it was the best thing to do.

We stop briefly for Jim to reply to a text message, and all I can hear for a brief moment is the gentle, peaceful, steady flow of water coming form the waterfall near the Koi pond, which is right near the living room where we are sitting. It is soothing.

Jim Goldstein: (Jim returns attention back to the interview) O.K.

Jim Goldstein: Yeah, I still hold a number of investments that I’ve made, years ago, and I’m still involved in the operations of those properties, but it really doesn’t take up much of my time, and I’m free to travel, and if I need to. I’ll send a few e-mails and make a few phone calls. It doesn’t occupy much of my time, so I do the things that I really enjoy.

Jim Goldstein: No, I’ve never been married.

Jim Goldstein: I’ve never really believed in marriage. I like to have my freedom and I’ve been involved in romantic relationships from time to time, taking it to the next step in marriage, hasn’t really come close to me.

Gisele Bundchen with Jim Goldstein
Gisele Bundchen with Jim Goldstein

Jim Goldstein: Here, yeah.

Jim Goldstein: Well as a little boy, I think, my father first gave me the impetus, because he was in the retail clothing business and so he wanted me dressed up on many occasions, and he’d take me to New York, and make sure that I was dressed up when I was a little boy, and that kind of took (hold). So I was living in Milwaukee at the time, which is not exactly the hotbed of fashion…

Jim Goldstein: but you know, at school, certain fads would come along, and my fellow students would follow the fads, and I would always try to be one jump ahead of them and so that’s when it started

Jim Goldstein: I wouldn’t call it a big part of my life, I’ve always enjoyed music to dance to and listen to and I’ve gone to many concerts and that kind of thing, but I wouldn’t call it a big part of my life compared to the three subjects that you just mentioned (basketball, fashion, and architecture).

Jim Goldstein: Well other than my tennis clothes, I don’t think I’ve bought an article of clothing made in the United States since I can remember.

Jim Goldstein: Well I consider Paris and Milan to be the hotbed of fashion, where the top designers are. It’s where the craftsmanship is at its highest level. It’s where the new trends begin, so that’s the source for me. I go back there frequently and do my shopping.

Jim Goldstein: I don’t know how to express it other than to say that it’s the cutting edge, whereas the American styles are more for the masses, more in the way of mass production, not with the same degree of uniqueness and the European man is shaped differently than the average American man. I’m slender, and I like a slender look.

Jim Goldstein: My personal preference is tall, slender women, and I think seeing hundreds of fashion shows every year, it certainly has an impact on my taste in women (…)

Jim Goldstein: For the catwalk of course, the walk is crucial, along with being tall and slender, and there are so many different gradations of modeling opportunities, that it depends on what level you are talking about. There are fashion shows now in nearly every city throughout the world, and within those local cities, there are different designers that have different requirements, so even at the highest level in Paris, when I go to the shows there, different shows have completely different types of models. So it’s very difficult to generalize, but I know what most of the really top level shows have in the way of models, and occasionally there are some shorter girls that seem to make it. Once a girl has made it in to a few shows, it seems that many other designers want to use them too, so it spreads like wildfire, but certainly the typical star models are tall, slender, have a really graceful walk, and they aren’t necessarily the prettiest girls, but they know how to wear clothes, they know how to show them off on the runway, and that’s very important. Now for photography models, it’s a different story.

To read the rest of this exclusive interview, visit The Hollywood Sentinel at www.TheHollywoodSentinel.com and click on the article on the left tab via the table of contents.

View many more pictures of Jim Goldstein and his famous friends at his official website in the link below.