Younes Nazarian was born in Iran. When he was three years old, unfortunately, his father passed away. He was a construction contractor in Iran, until the Iranian Revolution of 1979, when he lost his business and fortune. He left Iran for America with his brother, and settled in Beverly Hills, California, a place that had become a haven for Iranians, especially Jews, at this time.
In 1980 Younes started up in business again, borrowing money against the money he was owed to him by European companies from his Iranian business dealings. He used the money to purchase the precision tool producer, Standard Tool & Die, known as Stadco. His next big move was the investment in Ominet, with his brother Izak and nephew Neil Kadisha. When Nazarian showed Ominet’s potential to help Qualcomm to that company’s founder Irwin Jacobs, Jacobs offered Younes a major share in Qualcomm, in trade for Ominet.
With his fortune Nazarian has established the Younes & Soraya Family Foundation, along with its Israeli arm, the Ima Foundation. He serves on the board of the Israel Defense Forces, and was the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He is a supporter of several academic institutions in Israel, including the Sapir Academic College, Haifa University and Hebrew University, where there are libraries named after him.
In the United States Younes supported the Beit Midrash Fellowship of the Milken Community High School in Los Angeles. He endowed UCLA’s Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at the and the USC’s Doheny Library’s Nazarian Pavilion.