Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Forbes Magazine recently named Russell Simmons one of “Hollywood’s Most Influential Celebrities.” USA Today named Russell Simmons one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years,” calling him a “hip-hop pioneer” for his groundbreaking vision that has influenced music, fashion, finance, the jewelry industry, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy. From creating his seminal Def Jam Recordings in 1984, to his fashion industry changing brands including Phat Farm in 1992, Baby Phat in 2001 and current men’s lifestyle brand Argyleculture, to founding UniRush in 2003 providing instant access to a set of basic financial services for over 48 million Americans who could not previously establish traditional banking relationships, to the 2007 publishing of his New York Times best-seller Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success, to founding GlobalGrind.com, the leading online destination for celebrity entertainment, music, culture and politics for the new, postracial America and his latest New York Times best-seller “SUPER RICH: A Guide To Having It All”, Russell is recognized globally for his influence and entrepreneurial approach to both business and philanthropy. Giving back is of primary importance to him in all aspects of life and as Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, he has consistently leveraged his influence in the recording industry, fashion, television, financial services, and jewelry sectors to give back. A devoted yogi, Russell also leads the non-profit division of his empire, Rush Community Affairs, and its ongoing commitment to empowering at-risk youth through education, the arts, social engagement, and promoting racial harmony and strengthening inter-group relations.
Russell is a native New Yorker who attended City College of New York.
Russell has two daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee.