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With only $250 in his pocket, Isaac Perlmutter arrived in America from Israel. He was a veteran of the Six-Day War in Israel, which occurred in 1967, and witnessing all the mayhem gave him the courage to seek a new life in a new land.

He arrived at New York City, armed only with his expertise in Hebrew. Always a man who played his strengths, he used this knowledge to survive and presided over Jewish ceremonies – particularly funerals – all over Brooklyn. He later left this somber business to sell toys and beauty products on the street. He taught himself basic skills in accounting, such as reading balance sheets. Perlmutter was a motivated self-starter – a quality which America gladly embraced.

After trying out several jobs, Perlmutter realized that he felt most comfortable in the toy market. When he met toy designer and fellow Israeli, Avi Arad, a partnership ensued. Both of them hit it off immediately, sharing the same meager background and experience in the Six Day War. They teamed up in 1990 to run Toy Biz, the company which saved Marvel from oblivion. Toy Biz made a deal with Marvel to create and sell action figures based on the latter’s characters. The partnership became beneficial for both, with Toy Biz racking up the sales and Marvel bouncing back to life.

But in 1996, Marvel hit an all-time low. The company declared bankruptcy, and Perlmutter took interest. Together with Arad, the two managed to take over Marvel and Perlmutter became its chief executive officer.

As the head of Marvel, Perlmutter brought Marvel back to the mainstream by allowing the recreation of its characters into Hollywood films, including Iron Man, Thor and Spiderman. The mild-mannered business superhero is one of the industry’s most meek yet influential figures, especially to younger generations. As one of Forbes billionaires, Perlmutter shows us how a pocket full of dreams can go a long way.