Bill's story is one that deserves to be told, and Not Ready to Land is the book meant to tell it. There are a wide set of groundbreaking business and infrastructure practices that Bill pioneered, but the story starts a bit before that point. From rags to riches to the present day, Bill Oldenburg has seen, been and done it all. This fantastic tale of humanity will bring you through friendships with Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, Joe Namath, Donald Trump, Katharine Hepburn and Orson Wells among a host of others.
Starting as a part time Kirby vacuum salesman, while playing trumpet on the weekends, he then went on to build one of the most successful billion dollar commercial financing companies in the industry, known as IMI. He financed major motion pictures such as 3 Days Of The Condor, working with Robert Redford and Dino De Laurentiis. He also tapped into his creative side to design a “two of a kind” necklace for his wife Marla that was coveted by and later copied for Elizabeth Taylor.
Bill purchased the LA Express football team of the USFL and signed quarterback Steve Young to a record breaking 40 million dollar contract. Bill did all of this while meeting his soul-mate and raising four daughters.
And that's just the sampler.
Bill embraces life at every encounter and is referred to by many as “The man who invented life in the fast lane.” He harbors an incredible personality and inspirational passion and is the kind of gem you value forever.
Let's get his story shared with the people who can learn from his entrepreneurial style.
At the height of his success and accompanying fame, Bill financed Robert Redford box office hits, challenged Trump for football dominance in their fledgling United States Football League. He triumphed by signing 15 of the top round draft pics out from under the NFL’s nose. This included the #1 first round draft pick, Steve Young with what is sometimes called “the richest contract in sports history” (Sports Illustrated).
This angered the competing league causing Bill to become the target of a ruthless, non-stop attack by the press. Pulitzer Prize winning jounalist Herb Caen called this “vendetta journalism”. This ruthless attack brought about the eventual collapse of Bill's high-profile world.
Being the scrappy street fighter that he is, Bill did not rise from poverty by quietly and meekly surrendering to those who ruled through jealousy, negativity and hatred. With the support of a public who viewed him as their own personal rags-to-riches hero, and through the love of thousands of employees whom he treated like family, Bill fought back as the government went after him with everything they had.
With Joe Alioto, former mayor of San Francisco as his lawyer, he won his first dramatic trial but the government wasn't giving up either. He won his re-trial and his eventual vindication in what many saw as the financial case of the century.
Even though Bill beat the government both times, it cost Bill everything he had. He lost his beloved IMI, the savings and loan, the LA Express, his home; in short, everything. Like a dozen others, J. W. Oldenburg became the face of the excess of the Savings and Loan debacle, much like the Lehman Brother’s did in the United States 2008 mortgage fiasco.
As Charles Lindenberg wrote at the culmination of his historic Atlantic crossing in 1927: “It’s a shame to land with the night so clear and with so much fuel in my tanks.” The Spirit of Oldenburg, Not Ready to Land: The Story of Bill Oldenburg, is undeniably more than an insider’s view of a pivotal period in U.S. history.This is an inspiring story of struggle, of success, of achievement, and of ruin.
Ultimately it is an
inspirational story of one man
and our universal belief
that in America,
you CAN win the good fight!
The 90+ minute first run movie tells the story of Bill Oldenburg in living color. His iconic rise and fall to fame. It details his larger than life experiences and finally shows his rising from the ashes to once again attain the heigts he once knew.
On top of the book, Bill also has plans for a full length feature film titled The Spirit of Oldenburg. Similar in subject matter to the book, this movie is a dramatic telling of the humble origins and soaring heights of Bill's career. Of course only someone like Leonardo Dicaprio could do the part justice!
With a life of incredible ups and uncommon downs, who could be trusted to do justice to a tender story of love, betrayal, epic fall and rising from the ashes?
With his amaizing handling of such recent hits like The 15:17 to Paris, Unforgiven, Gran Torino, American Sniper to name a few Clint Eastwood has proven himself to be a world class director with the abitly to dive into the heart of a difficult subject, and show the humanity within.
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