An April Fool Is Born
Born April 1, 1983 under the sign of Aries, Martin Shkreli is the founder and former CEO of Turing pharmaceuticals. In September 2015, he gained public attention and notoriety for hiking the price of an antiparasitic drug called Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a pill; a markup of 5556%. The drug (also known as Pyrimethamine) is important for treating HIV and Toxoplasma gondii and is featured among the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines.
Dubbed “The Most Hated Man In America”, Shkreli’s image has taken many lumps over the past few months. But instead of performing damage control, he appears to delight in fanning the flames, finding new ways to agitate and offend. Enmity towards Shkreli increased after he defaulted on a promise to reduce the drug price, and since then he has been involved in a slew of other controversies, namely hip-hop related ones. Recently, he has received media attention over his purported offer to bail out rapper Bobby Schmurda, in addition to his public beef with Wu-Tang rapper, Ghostface Killah, and his reputed attempt to purchase sole ownership of Kanye West’s latest album T.L.O.P. Just a month earliar, Shkreli purchased the only copy of Wu-Tang’s newest album “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin” for a measly $2 million. Shkreli now holds the power to decide whether the world will ever hear it or not, and it’s this sort of leverage and twisted power move that Shkreli seems to relish and yearn for.
Aside from his controversial business dealings, it is Shkreli’s brazen lack of contrition and cavalier smugness that engenders the ire and contempt directed towards him. His recent appearance at a house oversight committee hearing proved inconclusive, as a smirking Shkreli repeatedly invoked his 5th amendment right, declining to answer every question posed to him. He did so ostensibly to avoid self-incrimination while under his current indictment; security fraud charges brought against him by his former company Retrophin. However, the smarmy manner and devil-may-care affect he displays is tantamount to a giant middle finger to the public and all his butt-hurt detractors. He exudes a boyish, defiant aplomb, a know-it-all arrogance that is consistent with the Aries archetype.
Aries Confidence and Drive
Even Donald Trump, another magnate who is no stranger to controversy, remarked Shkreli “looks like a spoiled brat to me”. Shkreli (who’s estimated net worth is $50 million) did not come from wealth like Trump has. He was born to Albanian and Croatian immigrants who worked as janitors. He grew up in Brooklyn with his brother and two sisters and attended Hunter College Highschool, but dropped out and never graduated. This was not for lack of ambition however, in fact quite the opposite. At the age of 17, he obtained an internship with Cramer, Berkowitz and Co. and 5 years later he earned a bachelor’s in Business administration.from Baruch College. He has since quickly worked his way up, and at the age of 32 has already presided over 4 different businesses. Love him or hate him, Martin Shkreli is an example of the success that is possible no matter where you come from. In spite of the negative image he has helped create for himself, he is not an evil guy, and there is a lot of good he can do in the world, should he choose.