Russell Simmons is an American entrepreneur and the co-founder, with Rick Rubin, of the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam, and creator of the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and American Classics.
Simmons is the third richest figure in hip-hop, having a net-worth estimate of $340-million.
Forbes Magazine named Simmons one of "Hollywood's Most Influential Celebrities." USA Today named him one of the "Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years," calling him a "hip-hop pioneer" for his groundbreaking vision that has influenced music, fashion, jewelry, finance, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy.
From creating his seminal Def Jam Recordings in 1984, to the 2007 publishing of his New York Times best-seller Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success, Russell is recognized globally for his influence and entrepreneurial approach to both business and philanthropy.
Giving back is of primary importance to him in all aspects of life and as Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, he has consistently leveraged his influence in the recording industry, fashion, television, financial services, and jewelry sectors to give back.
A devoted yogi, Russell also leads the non-profit division of his empire, Rush Community Affairs, and its ongoing commitment to empowering at-risk youth through education, the arts, and social engagement.
Russell also serves as UN Goodwill Ambassador For The Permanent Memorial To Honor The Victims Of Slavery and The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Simmons was raised in Queens, New York. He is the older brother of Rev. Joseph Simmons, better known as Rev Run, of Run-DMC.
He was married to Kimora Lee Simmons from 1998-2009. The marriage ended in divorce.