Rick Caruso’s dad made two fortunes, did jail time. How he shaped his son’s ambitions to become one of the greats
Rick Caruso doesn’t want people to get the idea that he’s a boring kind of guy who spends his days fishing, gardening and doing his homework while his father was in jail.
Sure, there was the time that he and his father, John Caruso, made two fortunes between them, which is a hell of a thing to tell his children. (John Caruso made his first fortune when he traded wheat futures and the family business that he and his uncle started when he was in high school. He eventually made billions of dollars, and now he’s a very rich man.) Then there were the times when Joe Caruso was up for the “tough love” approach when it came to a problem they both were having with an employee — and it wasn’t just with John’s friend who was a drunkard and a womanizer who ran around with teenage girls, although they were married by the time Caruso was in kindergarten.
It was his dad that Caruso took his mom to the movies, took him to the ballpark, and taught him life lessons and the proper way to act in order to please the people he loved. It was his mom who taught him to be a leader, to be a leader in a world full of people who were not leaders. It was her who taught him to be confident and to be himself, and to know his own strength and weaknesses. And ultimately she taught him that hard work, dedication, and a genuine, no-nonsense attitude toward life is the key to success in life.
Caruso doesn’t think his dad has any more knowledge in life than he does, and he’s not the kind of person who would ever say, “I don’t know how to do that.” But I wouldn’t be surprised if he had said something like that to one of his children, and if he gave away his secrets, then he might have some of a kid’s own “go” for him, because his life has been very instructive.
Caruso, 33, is an interesting character who I have been fascinated by for a long time. He’s a former Navy SEAL,