A popular NBA player for more than 10 years, Bridgeman is based in Louisville. He is the owner of more than 160 Wendy's franchises across the country, as well as an estimated 100 Chili's restaurants and, according to various reports, several dozen Fazoli's restaurants. Bridgeman is believed to be one of the wealthiest African-Americans in the country, with an estimated net worth in excess of $200 million.
The University of Louisville offered him a scholarship, and he grabbed it, helping to bring that team to a berth in the 1975 Final Four his senior year. Off the court, Bridgeman kept to his books, studying for the LSAT and completing a degree in psychology.
He was equally adept in his role as an officer and then president of the NBA Players Association, where the small forward/shooting guard got his first real taste of the business world. During the off-season, he sold insurance at a local firm and worked the front desk at a Howard Johnson. after retiring at age 33 in 1987. Seizing on a love of hamburgers, Bridgeman bought five Milwaukee-area Wendy’s franchises.
Bridgeman’s private company, Bridgeman Foods, is now America’s second-largest Wendy’s franchise owner.more » « less