RIO DE JANEIRO. Jorge Paulo Lemann lost his first job, as a financial columnist, after graduating from Harvard University in 1961. “Right after that, his career just took off,” said Alberto Dines, 78, the former managing editor of the Rio de Janeiro-based newspaper.


In three decades of deal-making, Lemann, 71, engineered the $52-billion takeover of Anheuser-Busch, founded a firm that became Brazil’s largest investment bank and amassed $11.5 billion to become the nation’s second-richest man, according to Forbes magazine. His latest transaction is a $3.3-billion takeover of Burger King Holdings, the biggest restaurant acquisition in at least a decade.