Dr Edward Oakly Thorp was born in Chicago, Illinois USA on the 14 August 1932.
He is an American maths professor, blackjack player and hedge fund manager.
His claim to fame was to develop a wearable device which uncovered mathematical advantages at the Blackjack tables. He also mathematically proved that the player could remove the house advantage in blackjack by using card counting techniques.
The Early Years
Thorp studied mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles and received his PHD in 1958. He worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1959 to 1961. From 1961 to 1965 he was a professor of mathematics at the New Mexico State University. This was followed by Professor of Maths and Finance at the University of California from 1965 to 1982.
It was here that Thorp used an old IBM computer to work out his blackjack theories.
Thorp started playing Blackjack at Lake Tahoe, Reno and Las Vegas to test his theories. He won $11 000 in the first week. Furthermore, he got a Baccarat team together, which was also successful.
While working at MIT Thorp met Claude Shannon who co-developed the wearable computer with Thorp, and both of them wore it at various casinos whilst playing Blackjack and Roulette.
In 1966 Thorp wrote the Book – Beat the Dealer which sold over 700 000 copies and made the New York Times bestseller list. In 1967 he wrote the book “ Beat the Market” which was also very successful.
Where is he Now?
Thorp operated his own hedge fund for 30 years. It was called Princeton Newport Partners and was one of the most successful hedge funds before disbanding. Although Thorp left the gambling world, he is still active in the trading world, and at the age of 87 years old is worth $800 billion.