Michael Rubin, a Lafayette Hill-native and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School graduate, operates his e-commerce empire (Fanatics.com, ShopRunner.com, and RueLaLa.com) from Conshohocken’s riverfront.
While he and his businesses have regularly been in the news since he opened a ski shop at Plymouth Square Shopping Center while still a teenager and more recently for selling GSI Commerce to Ebay.com and becoming a billionaire, this year he was in the news for an entirely different reason.
Rubin, who also is a minority owner of the Philadelphia 76’ers, became friends with rapper Meek Mill after meeting him at an NBA All-Star game a few years ago. This year Meek Mill’s legal issues became front page news and Rubin became one of his most vocal supporters and an advocate of criminal justice reform. From BusinessInsider.com:
He [Rubin] credits Meek Mill with opening his eyes to the realities of life in America. Speaking about Rubin, Meek Mill told the Associated Press: “I just think he’s a good-hearted person being that he’s somebody worth billions of dollars and still uses his resources to stand up for people who don’t have the money to be able to fight the errors of the criminal justice system.”
Below are some of the highlights of Rubin’s year in the news.
During Meek Mill’s incarceration this year for a parole violation, Rubin helped pay for buses in Philadelphia wrapped with the “Stand with Meek Mill” message and made high profile visits to the prison with everyone from comedian Kevin Hart to New England’s Patriot owner Robert Kraft.
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) April 10, 2018
When Meek Mill was released from prison on April 24th, Rubin took his helicopter from Conshohocken to the prison in Chester to pick him up. From the prison, they flew to a Sixers’ game. The flight was carried live by local television stations.
Rubin and Meek Mills’ friendship and push for criminal justice reform were profiled in several well-known publications (Sports Illustrated, Philadelphia Magazine, and Billboard.com) and they have been interviewed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and on CNBC (watch).
Rubin and Meek Mill appeared in a campaign advertisement for Governor Tom Wolf (D) during his 2018 re-election campaign.
Rubin and Meek Mill were interviewed during Philadelpia Magazine’s Think Fest about criminal justice reform.
After a year of activism, Rubin celebrated the recent bi-partisan support for the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform law signed into law by President Trump on December 22nd.
View this post on Instagram
The #FirstStepAct is now officially LAW!!!! Incredibly excited to see progress toward improving our criminal justice system!!!!! It was passed overwhelmingly in Congress across the House and Senate and was signed into law by the President today. With all the divisiveness these days, it was great to see such a bipartisan effort to improve the lives of many people in this country! Congrats to everyone who worked on this!!!
Rubin and Meek Mill plan to continue their advocacy for criminal justic reform through a foundation they are creating to focus on the issue.
Through his advocacy, Rubin could be found in all types of media in 2018 (sports, music, business, general news, pop culture, etc.). For this, MoreThanTheCurve.com names him our Newsmaker of the Year for 2018.
Disclosure – Rubin is an investor in Burb Media, LLC, the publisher of MoreThanTheCurve.com.