Self-made millionaire Barbara Corcoran is famous for her deals in the real estate market and on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. Raised in Edgewater, New Jersey, as the second of 10 children according to Inc., Corcoran knows what it’s like to struggle, and tends to lean toward entrepreneurs that have dealt with hard times. “Poor kids have nothing to lose and nowhere to go but up,” Corcoran told Inc. “They need to succeed. That’s the magic bottom-line juice I’m looking for, and it’s very hard to have that innately if you’ve grown up with privilege and a high degree of education. It truthfully is. You’re better off being poor.”
So does this successful real estate mogul have time for a personal life? Turns out she does with her husband of over 30 years.
Corcoran is married to a former FBI agent
Corcoran met Bill Higgins, a former agent for the FBI and Navy captain, in 1981 at a conference in New York, as reported by Yahoo Entertainment. Higgins was taken with Corcoran but approached her under the guise of business. Corcoran’s shark-ish qualities have clearly always been a part of her, where after a few business meetings, she made the first move to take their relationship to the next level and invited Higgins to spend the weekend with her. He turned her down. Today, Higgins realizes that his rejection only fueled Corcoran’s fire. “By me saying no, I think, knowing Barbara now, that just did it,” he told Yahoo Entertainment.
Higgins was right. Corcoran pursued him for six months, and after dating for a while, the couple moved in together along with Higgins’ four children from a previous marriage. According to Yahoo Entertainment, the pair got engaged two years later in Norway. “When Bill proposed to me and said, ‘Want to marry me?’ I swear to God my thought was ‘Eh, I’m not sure, I’ll give it a whirl,’” Corcoran said.
Corcoran’s intuition was once again spot on – the couple is still going strong after three decades together.
Corcoran’s former relationship motivated her to success
Corcoran did not always find happiness with her relationship choices. According to Inc., she met Ramone Simone when she was 23 and waitressing at a diner. In 1973, Corcoran started a real estate business with a $1,000 loan from Simone and gave him an equity stake. Personally and professionally, Simone pulled the rug out from Corcoran in 1978 by breaking up with her and marrying her assistant, with his parting words being, “You’ll never succeed without me.”
Obviously, Simone didn’t know Corcoran as well as he thought he did. His words became her motivation to succeed at all costs. “It just hit me in the gut and I felt that fever in my body like, ‘I’ll be damned if you ever see me not succeed,’” she told Business Insider in 2017. “I felt like I would kill not to let that thing happen.”
The cherry on top? Corcoran later moved two floors above Simone in the same building. “I loved getting out of that elevator with Ramone Simone and his new wife every day and saying, ‘Sorry, I’m going up.’” Corcoran said according to Business Insider.
Corcoran and Higgins have two children
The couple has two children, with Business Insider reporting in 2017 that Corcoran had her first child, son Tom, when she was 46 years old after seven years of failed in-vitro fertilization attempts. While the timing wasn’t Corcoran’s choice, she realized the benefit of having kids later in life. “I could have never built a Corcoran Group if I had had children earlier. Never. It was meant to be,” Corcoran told Business Insider. “I went all out on building my career. And then when that chapter — when I wanted to wind down, I went all out on building a family.”
According to Inc., Corcoran and Higgins adopted daughter Katie after an extensive search. Corcoran ended up having to make an immediate decision upon finally getting a call from her adoption attorney with a birth mother who needed an instant answer. Corcoran didn’t hesitate saying yes. “In the end, it was a relief to let it go. To let fate take charge,” Corcoran told Inc.
It’s clear that Corcoran has cornered the market on success in every area of her very full life!
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