9 Most Brilliant TV Businessmen

We watch them, we listen to them, and we might even mute them from time to time. Businessmen are some of the smartest, most idolized characters on TV. No matter how self-absorbed or rude they are, we still admire their power, greed, and success. From the fictional businessmen we love to hate to the real TV businessmen we love to hate, here are nine brilliant TV businessmen that seem to know it all.

  1. Don Draper

    Mad Men‘s Don Draper is more than just a handsome, smooth-talking character; he’s also one hell of an ad man. He may not have the best track record, especially with the ladies in the office, but he definitely has all the wit, creativity, and business knowledge you could ever ask for in an advertising partner and creative director.

  2. Walter White

    High school chemistry teacher-turned meth manufacturer. Walter White made quite the career switch when he decided to drop his teaching gig and start cooking crystal meth with a former student, but his new criminal career has managed to pay off big and help secure his family’s financial future after he is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Whoever said criminals can’t be smart and thoughtful was wrong.

  3. Tony Soprano

    Organized crime is big business, and no one knows this better than the big boss Tony Soprano from the HBO series The Sopranos. Tony made his millions through illegal activity and savvy but scummy investments such as running a New Jersey construction company and buying a racehorse that wins him thousands. If you ever need some pointers on how to run a “family business,” Tony’s your guy!

  4. J.R. Ewing

    J.R. Ewing may have been a shrewd and greedy oil baron on the hit soap opera Dallas, but he was certainly one rich man. The well-known villain didn’t care much for making friends, and he would do whatever it took to make his wallet grow bigger. Although J.R. wasn’t much of a team player, his fiery passion and all-or-nothing business attitude is something to applaud.

  5. Sam Malone

    It’s not every day that you can find a bar where everybody knows your name. Cheers owner Sam Malone might be a macho womanizer who says bonehead things from time to time, but he sure knows how to run a successful bar. Sam, played by Ted Danson, is the whole reason the beloved bar exists in the first place and why loyal customers come back for 11 straight years.

  6. Jim Cramer

    Don’t let all the yelling fool you, CNBC’s Mad Money host, Jim Cramer, is quite the investment guru. The Harvard-educated former hedge fund manager has helped viewers become better investors by teaching investments strategies and tricks of the trade. And unlike other television personalities and business know-it-alls, Cramer has been right a lot.

  7. Dick Clark

    America’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, was one of the smartest music moguls of all time. From the revolutionary American Bandstand to his trademarked Rockin’ Eve, Clark knew what people needed and always had a way of delivering it. He helped legitimize pop and rock ‘n’ roll, and provided a platform for well-known musicians to showcase their talent.

  8. Donald Trump

    Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t deny the brilliance of Mr. Donald Trump. The real estate tycoon-turned TV personality has made millions with his hotel, casino, and other real estate ventures. Even his reality television shows The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice have gained widespread popularity. It’s pretty clear that everything Trump touches turns to gold.

  9. Simon Cowell

    Simon Cowell might be your least favorite talent judge, but if it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have the wildly popular singing competitions, American Idol and The X Factor. The English television producer, A&R executive, and entrepreneur knows showbiz like the back of his hand and has made quite a fortune off of his TV projects.