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Ronald Perelman reflects on friendship with Patriots' Robert Kraft

By Ben Fischer
Kraft and Perelman had known each other casually before Jon Bon Jovi introduced them, but they have since become closeGetty Images

After MYRA KRAFT died in '11, rock star JON BON JOVI re-introduced two billionaire friends: ROBERT KRAFT and RONALD PERELMAN. The Patriots and Revolution owner and the well-known investor had known each other casually before then, but have since become close. In this SBJ Daily exclusive to accompany the package on Kraft receiving the SBJ Lifetime Achievement Award in this week's magazine, Perelman shared his insights into Kraft.

On those early days after Myra’s death: "I had unfortunately lost one of my wives, and so I had an inkling of what he was going through. He was deeply in love with his wife, and he took it very hard. He was looking for company, he was looking for advice, he was looking for compassion, and he was looking for input, and he was looking for a friend to talk to, and he and I hit it off on a deeply personal and intense level and have been very good friends since then.”

On Kraft’s personality: "He’s a unique guy. He’s very religious, very Jewish, takes very seriously and is very intense about his religion, and whenever we’re together we go to services together. He’s a man of great principle and dignity, in the way he comports himself and the way he deals with third parties, be they friends or strangers, if you will. He treats everybody the same, and he’s full of good will toward the people that he comes across, and he’s just an all around good guy.”

On Kraft’s philanthropy: "I have never asked him for a charitable contribution that he has turned me down on. We sort of have an understanding that we give to each other’s charities, but he’s never said no to me. He’s given to some charities that he’s never heard of because of that, and that speaks a lot to the man.”

On Kraft’s reliability: “With Bob, you make a deal with a Bob, or you have an understanding with Bob, or you ask him for something that’s important to you, he’s right there. He’s just a loyal, good friend. And that is hard to find and very rare."

On Kraft’s spirit: "I think we’re just about the same age, and we both think we’re 35. And I think that is important in understanding the man. So many friends of mine, they reach an age and they believe that is a close to a terminal age. It doesn’t have to be any more, with medicine and procedures the way they are now. It’s a little trite, but to 'be what you think you are,’ it can almost prove out to be true. And we both think we’re young, which is good. And I want to stay that way for a long time.”

On Kraft’s ability to connect with young people: “If you believe you’re 35, you can have a broad spectrum of friends. And if you believe you’re 75, you're out of place dealing with a 35-year-old. And I think today it’s a lot in your head. It’s a lot how you comport yourself, dress and act, and participate in things. He will go to concerts of rappers, because he knows the rapper personally and likes him, or because he knows the rapper’s music and likes the music. That in and of itself keeps him young, he’s got that connection to young people."

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