With fellow Harvard grad Joseph Steinberg bought bankrupt holding company Talcott National 1978; renamed Leucadia National. Invested in manufacturing (Idaho Timber, Conwed Plastics), medical products (Sangart), real estate (HomeFed). Stock up 20% since last July. Invested $260 million in iron ore mining outfit Fortescue Metals in 2006; by the time Cumming retired from Leucadia in 2013, the conglomerate was valued at $6.8 billion.
A Salt Lake City native, Cumming avoided notoriety and was known for not talking to the news media while he amassed great wealth, largely through his leadership of investment firm Leucadia National Corp.
A zoology graduate from the University of Kansas in 1962, he received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1970.
Over the years, his business connections included holding management positions at WitTel Communications Group, Ponderosa Lumber, Amundi Asset Management and the Crimson Wine Group.
He served on the boards of, among others, SkyWest Airlines, CarMike Cinemas Inc., AmeriCredit Corp., Jefferies Group Inc., General Motors Financial Co. and MK Resources, whose president and CEO was Frank Joklik, the one-time Kennecott boss and Salt Lake City Olympic leader.
His highest profile role came as a board member of Park City-based Powdr, a ski company that once owned Park City Mountain Resort. Operated by his sons, John and David, Powdr sold the resort to Vail Resorts after a key lease agreement went unsigned.
Powdr still owns eight ski areas in Colorado, California, Oregon, Vermont and Nevada, along with Gorgoza tubing park near Jeremy Ranch in Utah and Woodward adventure lifestyle facilities in five locations.
In 2014, Cumming also bought the majority interest in Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort from co-founder Dick Bass for an undisclosed amount.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Leucadia National Corporation, a diversified holding company engaged in a variety of businesses, including manufacturing, real estate activities, medical product development, winery operations and residual banking and lending activities ("Leucadia"). Leucadia also owns equity interests in operating businesses and investment partnerships, which are accounted for under the equity method of accounting, including gaming, entertainment, land-based contract oil and gas drilling, real estate activities and development of a copper mine in Spain.
Mr. Cumming is Chairman of the Finova Group, Inc., a middle-market lender; a director of MK Resources Co., a gold mining and exploration company; and a Director of Home Fed Corp., a real estate investment and development company.
Mr. Cumming is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, and his sons, John Cumming of Park City, Utah, and David Cumming of Rancho Sante Fe, Calif. A brother, David Cumming, and a sister, Marie McNeil, as well as six grandchildren also survive.