The youngest female billionaire in America is alive and well and living in California. Lynsi Torres burst into the newsfeed yesterday, with a Bloomberg profile that praised her with “building and maintaining a kind of cult following” for her company, the legendary In-N-Out Burger chain of fast-food restaurants. Here are five fascinating facts about Lynsi Torres.
1. She’s in the family business. Her grandparents Harry and Esther Snyder founded In-N-Out as a drive-through hamburger stand in 1948. The company was passed down to her uncle Rich in 1976, and when he died in a plane crash, her father took over. Then he died of a drug overdose in 1999, and the company reverted back to grandma Esther. When she died in 2006 at age 86, Torres was the sole family heir to the company.
2. She’s mysterious. No one in the restaurant industry knows that much about her. She doesn’t have a college education, and she maintains a low profile, other than her intense interest in … wait for it … drag racing. As one consultant put it, “Like most kids, or second or third generations of a very wealthy family, I don’t know that she has restaurant blood in her veins, or if she’s a trust fund baby.”
3. She’s only getting more powerful. Torres received half-ownership of the company when she turned 30 in 2012, but she’ll receive full control when she turns 35.
4. Warren Buffett has his eye on her. The investor told a group of business students in 2005 that he’d like to own In-N-Out.
5. She’s been married three times and is a mother of twins. Not relevant to her business acumen (or lack thereof), and I know we’re supposed to be above caring about the personal lives of prominent executives, and plenty of male billionaires have been married even more times, but OMG she’s only 30! What’s the story here? (In short: Childhood sweetheart –> minister –> drag racer) Fascinating!