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Biography of Financial Advisor Suze Orman

Updated on February 3, 2017
Robie Benve profile image

Robie writes to help people acquire financial strength. She got her MBA from the University of Venice, Italy.

The popular financial adviser has made millions dispensing advice through her best-selling books and TV shows. Orman is undeniably America's most recognized expert on personal finance.

She has given thousands of speeches and talks both on and off television on the subject of credit, investments and banking. She has grown a large following due to easy-to-follow financial strategies designed for average individuals.

Suze Orman
Suze Orman | Source

Suze Orman’s Tough Beginnings

Suze Orman’s life story is quite amazing and instilled with hope and positivity.

Susan Lynn "Suze" Orman, born June 5, 1951, surprisingly had a childhood speech and reading problem that prevented her from doing well in school, she scored low in tests and considered herself unintelligent.

Eventually she made it through high schools and she was accepted at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her guidance counselor convinced her to give up her dream of becoming a brain surgeon, and opt for something easier, more accessible for her skill level. So she registered for Social Studies.

Suze Moves To California

Towards the end of college, in 1973, she left with three friends for a trip to see America, on her used van, adapted to become living quarters as well.

She ended up in Berkeley, California, with one of her initial travel companions, and still living out of the van, they found jobs there. Suze worked six years as a waiter at the local Buttercup Bakery, until she started to think that she could aim to be more than a waitress.

Dreaming to Become a Restaurateur

Suze's dream was to open her own business, a restaurant. Customers of the bakery, that knew her during the waiting years, believed in her potential, and lent her $50,000, which she invested to keep them safe until all the plans for the restaurant were in place.

The dream seemed close to becoming true, but the investment broker that was taking care of her money revealed to be extremely unscrupulous. He made her to lose all the money, and few months after receiving that big sum from her supporters, she was broke again.

"The single most important quality you need in order to change the course of your life is courage. A great deal of courage. "

— Suze Orman

Suse's Shift to the Financial World

However, something good came out of this awful experience: Suze got to know what a broker was, and she understood that she could learn to be a better broker than the one that ruined her.

So in 1980 Suze Orman applied for a job at Merrill Lynch, and got hired, starting a career as investment and finance expert with no initial knowledge of any financial terminology or concept, but armed with a strong will and hard working skills.

Remember to keep your eye on the goal, on what you really want to accomplish, no matter what anyone says or does to deter you. Just keep moving ahead.

— Suze Orman

How Orman’s Career Flourished: Hard Work and Positive Attitude

Once a waitress at the Buttercup Bakery in Berkeley, California, making $400 a week, and struggling herself with debt, Suze Orman became one of the most influential, well respected, and successful financial advisor in the world.

Suze evolved and grew from a child with a speech problem, doubting her intellectual capabilities, into one of the top motivational speakers in the world. Throughout her career she has helped others achieving financial independence and success, often even turning from being in debt to being rich.

Suze Orman has truly shown with her own experience that attitude and feelings about money can make all the difference to get you out of debt and evolve toward richness.

Suze has worked hard to spread the knowledge that you should not be scared or intimidated by the idea of dealing with their financial situation. You need to approach money issues with a positive and open attitude; only a powerful and optimistic approach to wealth can attract more money to you.

Orman has become America’s most famous financial advisor by helping people changing the way they think about money, in her unique, persuasive, compelling and honest style.

Suze, Where Is the Real Estate Market Going?

Suze Orman’s Amazing Career in Crescendo

Suze’s hard work and dedication earned her great success and recognitions. Here are the main milestones in her career.

Orman grew up on the South Side of Chicago earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Illinois, in 1976 .

1973-1980: At age 29 Suze still worked as a waitress at the Buttercup Bakery in Berkeley, CA.

1980-1983: Account executive at Merrill Lynch.

1983-1987: Served as Vice President - Investments for Prudential Bache Securities.

1987-1997: Director of the Suze Orman Financial Group.

Contributing financial editor to the O: The Oprah Magazine.

Featured writer on the Costco magazine.

Featured writer on Yahoo! Personal Finance.

Nine consecutive times New York Times bestseller author.

Hosting the award-winning Suze Orman Show.

Writer, co-producer, and host of PBS specials on her books.

Motivational peaker.

Suze Orman’s Books

You’ve Earned It, Don’t Lose It! (1995)

Suze Orman’s Financial Guidebook (1998)

The Courage to Be Rich (1999)

The Road to Wealth: Suze Orman’s Complete Guide to Your Money (2001)

The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life (2003)

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke (2005)

Women & Money: Owing the Power to Control Your Destiny (2007)

2009 Action Plan (2009)

Action Plan: New Rules for New Times (2010)

The Money Class (2011)

The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom (2012)

Orman’s Awards and Recognitions

1999: Named one of Smart Money magazine’s top 30 “Power Brokers,” described as people who have most influenced the mutual fund industry and affected our money.

1999: Received the Books for a Better Life (BBL) Motivational Book Award for The Courage to Be Rich.

2002: Orman was recipient of the TJFR Group News Luminaries Award, honoring lifetime achievement in business journalism.

Suze Orman addressing a Senate Committee, 2008.
Suze Orman addressing a Senate Committee, 2008. | Source

2003: Received the Books for Better Life Awards, entering Hall of Fame recognition for her ongoing contribution to self-improvement.

2003: American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) Gracie Allen Award for The Suze Orman Show.

2003. Crossing Borders Award given by the Feminist Press to recognize distinguished women who have shown great courage, vision, and conviction by flaring new trails for women in their fields.

2004: Received Day Time Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Service Show Host for her PBS Special, The Laws of Money the Lesson’s of Life.

2005: American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) Gracie Allen Award for The Suze Orman Show.

2006: Day Time Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Service Show Host for her PBS Special, The Money Show for the Young Fabulous & Broke.

2006 MS Spirit Award, Suze was the inaugural recipient recognized for her support of the Society over the past five years toward finding a cure for multiple sclerosis.

2006 American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) Gracie Allen Award for The Suze Orman Show in the Individual Achievement: Program Host category.

2007: American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) Gracie Allen Award for The Suze Orman Show.

2008: Time Magazine named Orman as one of the TIME 100, The World’s Most Influential People.

2008: Recived the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign.

2008: Presented with the Amelia Earhart Award for her message of financial empowerment for women.

2009: Received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2009: Recipient of a Visionary Award from the Council for Economic Education for being a champion on economic empowerment.

2009: Named 18th on the Forbes list of The Most Influential Women In Media.

2009: Time Magazine named Orman as one of the TIME 100, The World’s Most Influential People (again)

2010: Was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree from Bentley University.

2010: Received the Gracie Allen Tribute Award from the American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT)

2010: Forbes honored Orman as one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”

2010: Orman was honored with the Touchstone Award from Women in Cable Telecommunications.

Some More of Suze Orman’s Amazing Achievents

Orman won two Emmy Awards as television host.

Orman has been #1 New York Times bestselling author, with nine consecutive books.

Seven-time Gracie Award winner with the Suze Orman Show, on CNBC and Money Class on The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Private Life

Orman announced in 2007 that she is a lesbian.

When asked if she was married replied that she had been with Kathy Travis since 2000, and that Kathy is more than a husband to her, she is her life partner.

In 2010 she married Kathy Travis.


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