While he’s striving to hold the country’s highest political office, the self-made millionaire has no political experience.
Terence Thomas Kevin O’Leary was born on July 9, 1954 in Montreal to Lebanese and Irish immigrant parents, Georgette Bookalam and Terry O’Leary. He soon began going by Kevin to avoid confusion with his father, his website states.
He grew up in a middle-class family, and has a younger brother Shane. His father passed away when O’Leary was young.
O’Leary battled dyslexia as a child. While being treated for the learning disability by specialists at McGill University, O’Leary’s bio says he started to think of it as a “super power.”
His mother remarried and the family moved to Chicago. They then began moving around the world due to his step-father’s job with the International Labour Organization, part of the United Nations.
O’Leary’s online bio states he and his family lived in Egypt, France, Japan, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Cyprus, Cambodia and Switzerland.
He attended the University of Waterloo, then Western University. O’Leary started producing TV shows and worked with Don Cherry; O’Leary learned from working with Cherry to “never be boring. Never be small,” the Globe and Mail reported in 2012.
WATCH: Does Kevin O’Leary consider himself the ‘Donald Trump of Canada?’
His lengthy list of business startups and dealings, starting in the emerging personal computer and tech sector in the early 1980s, led him back to the U.S.
The company he founded in a Toronto basement after university, SoftKey Software Products, later acquired The Learning Company, which was then sold to Mattel for $3.6 billion in 1999, Time magazine reports.
As of 2015, his estimated net worth sat at USD $400 million.
He’s been married to wife Linda since 1990 and the couple has two children.
O’Leary has appeared on CBC programs Dragons’ Den, The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, and hosted Redemption Inc., in which 10 former convicts competed for $100,000 of O’Leary’s money to start a business.
He’s also gained notoriety in the U.S. with his role as a “Shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank, in which he currently appears.
His bio on the Shark Tank website states he is based in West Palm Beach, Fla., — when not enjoying the”wilderness” of Canada at his luxury cottage.
“Kevin escapes on weekends with his family to his luxurious cottage that spreads over prime Canadian wilderness on the shore of an ancient glacial lake.”
The TV website’s bio also calls him a proud “eco-preneur,” with an interest in business ventures that are environmentally-friendly. However, Time noted in 2009, many of his investments “are in coal companies and other large polluters.”
“My ultimate hope is that you will enjoy O’Leary Fine Wines as much as I do. I invite you to raise a glass with me and indulge in the finer things in life.”
O’Leary said he plans to continue appearing on Shark Tank during the leadership campaign.
The Conservative party is set to select its new leader on May 27.