Shane Smith's family moved from Galway to Canada and he once had a summer job as a barman in Dublin's Baggot Inn. His Disney and News Corp-backed global media firm, Vice, is now thought to be valued at $5bn.
As it takes aim at the rather fickle millennial audience for TV and web content, the valuation may be a frothy one, but it puts his estimated 30pc stake at 1.41bn, having doubled since last year, going by recent media reports.
Smith, who has reported from the likes of North Korea and Iraq, won $1m at a consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas three years ago and splurged $300,000 on dinner afterwards.
Giving a landmark speech at the Edinburgh Festival last August, he said he expects a frenzy of mergers and acquisitions in the world of digital media and is aiming to grow Vice's monthly audience from 380m to 1bn.
No pressure then.