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From Rags to Riches: Billionaire Kim Pegula’s Inspiring Story Will Bring You to Tears

How many “from rags to riches” stories have you heard this far into your life? Such tales remind us that no matter how rough we may have it in current circumstances, we’re never in the endgame just yet. Your fortunes can change in an instant, and your woes become a distant memory.

Such is the case for Kim Pegula, the lady who’s now a billionaire and a source of pride for residents living in Buffalo. You’re already dying to hear her story, aren’t you?

Kim Pegula is now a billionaire

Overseas Adoption

Back in ’74, the Kerrs were looking to expand their family via adoption, despite already having two adorable sons. As you may very well know, the adoption process isn’t always that easy (and theirs was an overseas adoption), and it wasn’t until Christmas Eve that Santa brought Marilyn and Ralph Kerr they gift they’d been hoping for all year.

They received a call confirming that they’d now be parents to Kim Pegula, a young girl who was only 5 at the time. Flying out from Rochester to the Big Apple, the first time the Kerrs met Kim, she had all her earthly possessions with her; a jacket and a bag carrying a pair of shoes.

How did she end up here? As a toddler, her parents abandoned her outside a police station, something that was common with the Koreans when they felt that they couldn’t take care of their little ones. She was in literal rags, and the authorities did the best they could to put her in an orphanage in the country’s capital.

When they first met, she couldn’t have known that he was her future husband

When the adoption pushed through, Kim must have had quite a difficult time. Having lived in Seoul all her life, English was completely foreign to her, so you can just imagine the language barrier. Luckily, her adoptive parents provided her with an enabling environment, and she fit right in.

The couple took the kid to Jefferson Avenue, an elementary school, and soon discovered that the young girl was incredibly smart. Within a few months, she could effectively communicate in English that one would think she was born and raised in the US.

She was also into extracurricular activities, venturing into cheerleading from a young age. She continued with her craft after joining high school, and by this time, she had embraced living the American dream. So much so that she never thought about her real parents, nor had any interest in searching for them.

A Chance Meeting

Kim graduated and followed in her brothers’ footsteps by joining Houghton College, with the young adult studying broadcast journalism. However, running into Terry Pegula set her path on a different course, one that she’s definitely grateful for.

Kim acquired Buffalo Bills in 2014

The chance meeting happened at a restaurant where Kim and her roommate were filling out job applications. Terry and some of his colleagues happened to walk in, and the two talked for a while. Before leaving, he left his card with the young lady, asking her to call him sometime.

She did call, leaving a message, but after getting no reply, she forgot all about him. But as fate would have it, Terry would call back eons later, asking her out and later offering the lady a job. A year later, Terry proposed, and although the Kerrs had their reservations, they finally agreed to it.


The rest, as they say, is history. Terry and Kim are now worth a combined $4.6 billion, largely thanks to their co-ownership of Buffalo Bills.

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