John S. Middleton

John S. Middleton
Citizenship United States
Education Amherst College (B.A.)
Harvard Business School (MBA)
Occupation Businessman
Net worth US$3 billion
(March 2018)
Spouse(s) Leigh Middleton

John S. Middleton is an American business leader and philanthropist. He is the principal owner of the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball,[1] holding a 48% ownership stake in the team. His philanthropy has focused on ending homelessness.[2]

Early life

The Middleton family descends from John Middleton, who in 1857 founded John Middleton Co., a Philadelphia retail tobacco shop that evolved into a manufacturer and marketer of pipe tobacco and cigars.[3]

Middleton graduated from the Haverford School in 1973.[4] He was a wrestler at Amherst College where he graduated magna cum laude in 1977 with his bachelor's degree in economics.[5] He then attended Harvard Business School, graduating in 1979 with his Master of Business Administration.[6]

Middleton is married to Leigh Middleton, and they have two children.


Middleton began working at his family’s cigar business at age 16.[7] After graduating from Harvard Business School, he returned home to work at John Middleton Inc. where his father put him on the company’s board. Under Middleton, the company bought four tobacco brands from R.J. Reynolds in 1987, transforming the company into a major player in the pipe tobacco industry and paving the way for the subsequent growth of its packaged-cigar business.[7]

In 2007, Middleton sold John Middleton Co. to Altria, the parent of Phillip Morris USA, for $2.9 billion.[8]

Middleton is the President of Bradford Holdings, the parent company whose subsidiaries have included John Middleton Inc., Double Play Inc. and McIntosh Inns.[4]

Philadelphia Phillies

Middleton bought a 15% stake in the Phillies for $18 million in 1994.[9] Serving as head of the limited partnership, Middleton has been elected chairman of the partners’ Advisory Board annually since 1998.

When Phillies' chairman David Montgomery took a medical leave of absence in 2014, Middleton assumed a more active role in the Phillies, overseeing on-field and business performance. In 2015, the Phillies’ ownership group designated Middleton as their public voice. Middleton committed that the Phillies would have a greater focus on analytics, which influenced the hiring of Andy MacPhail, president, and Matt Klentak, general manager.[10][11][12]

At the November, 2016 MLB owners’ meeting, Middleton was elected the Phillies’ control person by the thirty clubs. As control person, Middleton is accountable to Major League Baseball for the operation of the club and for its compliance with the rules of Baseball.[13][14]


Middleton and his wife, Leigh, share philanthropic involvement in several organizations that include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Penn Medicine,[15] the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church,[16] the Academy of Natural Sciences, and Project HOME.[17]

In 2012, the Middletons announced a gift of more than $16.2 million to the Philadelphia School District, Philadelphia Youth Network, Philadelphia Academies and Drexel University for career and technical education.[18]

In 2013, the Middletons pledged $30 million to Project HOME[15] in an effort to end chronic homelessness by doubling the number of its apartments for homeless people, opening a new medical center and leveraging additional public and private funds.[19]

In 2014, it was announced that the couple had received the 2013 Philadelphia Award, given for their philanthropic works in the Philadelphia area, directed towards education, homelessness, and workforce development projects.[20][21]

Middleton serves as a member of the board of trustees of Amherst College, which awarded him its Medal for Eminent Service in 2004 in recognition of his dedication to the college.[6]


  1. "Trustee Biographies | John S. Middleton '77 | Amherst College". Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  2. "Meet the Middletons: Philadelphia's Next Big Power Couple in Philanthropy". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  3. "Philadelphia Award shines a light on Middletons' philanthropy". philly-archives. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Area cigar firm fetches $2.9 billion Middleton has been puffin' since 1856". philly-archives. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  5. "Bill Conlin - Phils' part-owner has money to burn". philly-archives. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  6. 1 2 "John S. Middleton '77". Amherst College. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  7. 1 2 "Can John Middleton Bring Back the Phillies?". Philadelphia Magazine. 2016-05-15. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  8. "John Middleton". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  9. "John Middleton designated as Phillies' control person by MLB". CSN Philly. 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  10. "With Phillies, Klentak will try to blend best of old and new worlds". PhillyVoice. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  11. "Phillies introduce Andy MacPhail in Monday press conference". Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  12. "Phillies hire ex-Google analyst to head baseball research & development". Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  13. "John Middleton named Phillies' control person". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  14. "John Middleton designated as Phillies' control person by MLB". CSN Philly. 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  15. 1 2 "If you ever wondered how Phillies owner John S. Middleton made his $2.9 billion..." CSN Philly. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  16. "The Middleton Center". Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  17. Mcquade, Dan. "New York Times Plays Up Project HOME's Success". Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  18. Center, Foundation. "Philadelphia School District, Educational Groups to Receive $16.2 Million". Philanthropy News Digest (PND). Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  19. Hurdle, Jon (2014-05-07). "Philadelphia's Success in Helping the Homeless Gets a Philanthropic Boost". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  20. "Phillies Co-Owner, Wife Receive Philadelphia Award | News | Philadelphia Magazine". Philadelphia Magazine. 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  21. "Middletons to receive the Philadelphia Award". Retrieved 2016-11-11.
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