Micky Arison

Micky Arison is an Israeli-American billionaire businessman who serves as the chairman of Carnival Corporation, which is known as the biggest cruise operator globally. He has also owned the Miami Heat since 1995.

Early life

Micky Arison was born on June 29, 1949, in Tel Aviv, Israel, to Ted Arison and Mina Arison Sapir. His father was the co-founder of Carnival Corporation, which is the largest cruise ship company in the world. When Micky was two years old, his family moved to the United States, and he grew up in Miami Beach, Florida. Micky attended the University of Miami, but he dropped out to help his father with his business.


After dropping out of college, Micky Arison began working for Carnival Corporation, which at the time had only one ship. In 1979, he became the CEO of Carnival Corporation, succeeding his father, who had resigned from the position. Under Micky’s leadership, Carnival Corporation expanded rapidly, and by the late 1990s, it had become the largest cruise line in the world.

Micky Arison transformed his father’s company, Carnival Cruise Lines, into the biggest and most prosperous cruise-ship corporation, Carnival Corporation. He held the position of the president of the business from 1979 and has been the CEO and chairman of the corporation since 1990. Arison directed Carnival towards being the leader of the industry by focusing on constructing new ships to expand its fleet and entering new markets such as the fast-growing European market. He was highly competitive and despised losing, and industry analysts commended his excellent marketing skills and his attention to the company’s profitability.

Micky Arison played a vital role in developing one of Carnival’s early successful strategies, which was to create more affordable pricing plans for shorter trips. These packages included airfare, entertainment, meals, and activities on the ship, making Carnival’s trips competitive with other vacation packages. The company’s target demographic became younger people, as well as older individuals who had never been on a cruise before.

In 1976, Arison was appointed as the vice president of passenger traffic. Three years later, he was named the president of the company after they announced their plan to construct the largest purpose-built cruise ship globally. As the company’s profits steadily grew, Arison oversaw the construction of three more ships in the mid-1980s. However, Arison didn’t want to build ships that offered the same experience as the traditional cruise ships and luxury liners. Instead, he created ships that served as destinations themselves, offering unique vacation environments, such as retired streetcars and buses that were transformed into dining cafés and shops.

In addition to his work with Carnival Corporation, Micky Arison has also been involved in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 1995, he bought the Miami Heat, which is an NBA team based in Miami, Florida. Micky has also served as the Chairman of the Board of the NBA, and he is known for his role in negotiating the end of the 2011 NBA lockout.

The Arison family and Carnival Corporation & plc have a strong commitment to South Florida and have supported several arts-related and community service organizations over the years. Some of these organizations include the New World Symphony, The National YoungArts Foundation, Miami Children’s Museum, Jackson Memorial Foundation, Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Project Medishare for Haiti, American Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, United Way, Chapman Partnership, among many others.

Net Worth

As of 2023, Micky Arison’s net worth is estimated to be around $5.5 billion, according to Forbes. Most of his wealth comes from his ownership of Carnival Corporation, which is a publicly traded company. Arison also owns several other companies, including the Miami Heat basketball team, and he has a significant investment portfolio.


Micky Arison’s biggest achievement is his success with Carnival Corporation. Under his leadership, the company has grown to become the largest cruise line in the world, with a fleet of over 100 ships.

In addition to his success with Carnival Corporation, Micky has also been recognized for his philanthropic work. He has donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education, healthcare, and the arts. He also serves on the board of several non-profit organizations, including the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Some of the accolades he has received are:

Named an "Officer of the French Legion of Honor," the highest civilian honor in France, by French President Jacques Chirac.
Received an honorary doctorate in naval architecture from the University of Genoa.
Awarded the Decoration of Commander, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland by the President of the Republic of Finland.
Awarded the insignia of "Onorificenza al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" by the President of Italy, which is Italy's highest title conferred on a civilian.