Seline Kinsella

Written by Seline Kinsella

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


When it comes to controversial figures in the world of finance and pharmaceuticals, one name that often stands out is Martin Shkreli. Known for his infamous price hike of a life-saving drug, as well as his brash and unapologetic attitude, Shkreli has become a polarizing figure in the public eye.

However, there is more to Martin Shkreli than just his notorious actions. In this article, we will delve into 18 mind-blowing facts about the man behind the headlines. From his early beginnings in the world of finance to his colorful personality and legal troubles, we will explore the fascinating journey of this enigmatic figure. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to uncover some surprising insights into the life of Martin Shkreli.

Key Takeaways:

  • Martin Shkreli, known as “Pharma Bro,” gained infamy for raising drug prices and making controversial purchases, leading to legal troubles and public outrage.
  • Shkreli’s unapologetic persona, legal battles, and eccentric behavior fueled public disdain, making him one of the most despised figures in the business world.
Table of Contents

The Most Hated Man in America

Martin Shkreli gained notoriety as the “Pharma Bro” and quickly became one of the most despised figures in the business world.

Price Hike Controversy

Shkreli made headlines when he increased the price of the life-saving drug, Daraprim, by more than 5,000%, causing outrage among patients and healthcare providers.

Wu-Tang Clan Album Purchase

Shkreli acquired the sole copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” for $2 million, making him the target of much scrutiny and criticism.

Arrested on Fraud Charges

In 2015, Shkreli was arrested and charged with securities fraud and conspiracy, for which he was later found guilty and sentenced to prison.

Rare Collectible Purchases

Shkreli was known for his extravagant purchases, including buying a rare copy of the album “The Life of Pablo” by Kanye West for $1.5 million.

Social Media Provocations

Shkreli used social media platforms to taunt his critics, further fueling the negative perception of his character.

Auctioning Off a Chance to Punch Him

In an attempt to raise money for charity, Shkreli auctioned off the opportunity for someone to punch him in the face, attracting both curiosity and backlash.

Unusual Auction of Hillary Clinton’s Hair

Shkreli offered to pay $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair during her presidential campaign, which led to an investigation by the Secret Service.

Feud with Ghostface Killah

Shkreli engaged in a heated public feud with rapper Ghostface Killah, resulting in a highly publicized exchange of insults between the two.

Unconventional Courtroom Behavior

During his trial, Shkreli displayed unusual behavior, including live-streaming himself and playing chess, further adding to his controversial image.

Denied Parole

In 2018, Shkreli was denied parole and remained incarcerated for his involvement in securities fraud.

Allegations of Price Fixing

There were allegations that Shkreli engaged in price-fixing schemes in the pharmaceutical industry, contributing to the skyrocketing prices of certain medications.

Shkreli’s Online Persona

Shkreli cultivated an online persona that was both eccentric and polarizing, using it as a platform to voice his controversial views.

Unauthorized Use of Investor Funds

Shkreli was accused of using funds from his biotech company, Retrophin, to pay off debts unrelated to the company, leading to further legal troubles.

Auctioning Rare Lil Wayne Album

Shkreli purchased the unreleased album “Tha Carter V” by Lil Wayne and controversially put it up for auction, causing outrage among fans of the rapper.

Seized Assets and Fine

As a result of his conviction, Shkreli had millions of dollars in assets seized and was ordered to pay a substantial fine.

Involvement in Cryptocurrency

Shkreli was known for his interest in cryptocurrency and even attempted to auction off his Wu-Tang Clan album as an NFT (non-fungible token).

Unapologetic Attitude

Throughout his controversies and legal battles, Shkreli maintained an unapologetic and defiant attitude, further fueling public disdain.


In conclusion, Martin Shkreli is undeniably a controversial figure in the world of celebrity and pharmaceuticals. His rise to infamy was marked by astronomical price hikes on life-saving drugs, which sparked outrage and backlash from the public. Shkreli’s flamboyant and unapologetic persona made him a target of media scrutiny and led to his conviction on securities fraud charges.Despite his notoriety, there is no denying that Shkreli is a brilliant mind. His business acumen and ability to navigate the complex world of pharmaceuticals allowed him to make a significant impact in the industry. However, it is his unethical practices and lack of empathy that have overshadowed his success.As time goes on, the legacy of Martin Shkreli will continue to be debated. While some may see him as a symbol of greed and corruption, others may view him as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked power. Regardless, his story serves as a reminder of the complex intersection between celebrity, wealth, and ethics in our modern society.


Q: Who is Martin Shkreli?

A: Martin Shkreli is a former pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager. He gained notoriety for acquiring the rights to life-saving drugs and drastically increasing their prices.

Q: What did Martin Shkreli do to become infamous?

A: Martin Shkreli became infamous for drastically increasing the prices of life-saving drugs, most notably the drug Daraprim. This move sparked public outrage and led to intense scrutiny of his business practices.

Q: What charges were Martin Shkreli convicted of?

A: Martin Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy in 2017. He was accused of running a Ponzi scheme and misusing funds from his hedge fund.

Q: Has Martin Shkreli served his sentence?

A: Yes, Martin Shkreli is currently serving his prison sentence at a federal correctional institution. He is expected to be released in 2023.

Q: What is Martin Shkreli’s net worth?

A: As of 2021, Martin Shkreli’s net worth is estimated to be around $27 million. However, a significant portion of his assets has been seized to repay investors and satisfy legal fines.

Q: Will Martin Shkreli be able to work in the pharmaceutical industry again?

A: It is unlikely that Martin Shkreli will be able to work in the pharmaceutical industry again, given his criminal convictions and the damage to his reputation. However, the future is uncertain, and it remains to be seen if he will attempt a comeback.

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