It is a success story that could have been written for Hollywood-imagine the movie trailer now. Alvin Malnik, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, is born in the roughshod neighborhoods of working-class St. Louis, a teenage gang member who could have easily been eaten alive or fallen astray.
Fast forward to 1964. Malnik is now 31, a multimillionaire, and a well-connected lawyer with celebrity clients who dominate the entertainment business. As time progresses, Malnik transforms into shrewd businessman and a literal pioneer of the South Beach scene, with holdings in real estate and as founder of Miami Beach’s finest institution, The Forge-which would later be taken to new heights by his own son, Shareef, but only once the elder Malnik takes a unique opportunity to work with the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.
Now it speeds up. Flash frames show Malnik with a slew of the big names across the years-from world-famous attorney and mentor Jake Ehrlich to Rat Pack stars Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., to his first son, Shareef, and his “11th son,” famed director Brett Ratner, to a bevy of beautiful women and a host of others-until, suddenly, the camera pauses, and Malnik finds the love of his life-Nancy. Like clockwork, they fall for each other, marry, expand their family and watch their children grow, as a picturesque sunset fades over his sprawling Palm Beach mansion.
But success is never built overnight, and so for Malnik, no movie trailer could do justice to his life’s bountiful accomplishments. No, to get the real story-the story that cannot be told by any outsider-one must get the opportunity to sit down with the legendary Malnik, to bask in the glory of his opulent 35,000-square-foot Palm Beach home, and truly listen to the story of a man who built an empire out of a big heart and an unflappable will.