Contemplating a whole life he never knew he could have led, Marcus says, “For a brief moment, I felt like I was living two lives. I felt like, ‘Is the life I’m living today a fraud, and that’s my real life? Or is that who I was and this is who I am?'”
Lemonis was born in Beirut in 1973 to Lebanese parents he knows little about. At the time, the country was at the brinks of a decade-long civil war that would leave many children stranded, and even orphaned.
He spent the first nine months of his life in an orphanage, before getting adopted by a Greek-Lebanese couple who flew the infant to the US for a life in Miami.
In the U.S., Lemonis made a name for himself, revitalizing the American RV Business and teaming up with NASCAR after a brief dabbles in politics. In 2014, Marcus, now worth $900 million, starred in the The Profit, a CNBC reality show about saving small businesses.
The Profit is a popular American documentary-style show that broadcasts on CNBC. In each episode, Marcus Lemonis offers a capital investment and his expertise to struggling small businesses in exchange for an ownership stake in the company. The successful reality TV show has already aired 6 seasons, or 69 episodes, in 7 different countries.
The latest hour-and-a-half special featuring Marcus’s visit to Lebanon was titled “The Profit: My Roots” and aired on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019.
Lemonis had refrained from returning to Beirut and looking for his birth parents at the request of his adoptive mother, Sophia. After her death in 2013, however, Marcus was overcome with the need to learn more about his past life and heritage.
“I’ve always had a dying curiosity: ‘What part of that culture, or heritage -if any- influenced the way I think?’ I’m dying to know,” said Lemony.