‘Shark Tank’: How Kevin O’Leary Met His Wife

Kevin O’Leary often shares business advice and money tips outside of the set of Shark Tank. Often advising people against spending copious amounts of money on dating and weddings, the ABC star took his own advice when he and his wife, Linda, headed to the altar. The millionaire investor took his time in tying the knot after meeting the future Mrs. Wonderful.

Kevin O'Leary on the panel of 'Shark Tank'
Kevin O’Leary of ‘Shark Tank’ | Christopher Willard via Getty Images

Kevin O’Leary met his wife at the gym

In his book, Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids and Money, O’Leary explained how he paid attention to fitness when he started one of his original companies.

“In the early days of SoftKey, a software company I launched that became a very lucrative business, I was still working from home — from my basement, to be exact,” O’Leary wrote. “You might find it hard to believe, but I didn’t always sit for hours at a time on the set of Shark Tank. To get my blood pumping, I’d hit the gym at the local squash club.”

During one of his workouts, the Shark Tank star was approached by an employee of the health club.

“One day, I was resting on the workout equipment when the pretty blonde fitness director came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, ‘Excuse me, sir — You need to get off the equipment so that other people can use it,'” O’Leary recalled. “Those were my wife’s first words to me. Hardly a love ballad, but it was enough to get my attention.”

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‘Shark Tank’ star was in hot pursuit

O’Leary was instantly intrigued when he met Linda and began to seek her out when he went to the gym.

“I started looking for her whenever I went to the club,” Mr. Wonderful revealed. “I talked with her a little and found out she was still in college, working as a fitness director at the club to support herself. She moved with confidence and purpose, and it wasn’t long before I asked her out.”

Yet the Shark was turned down by Linda, where she told him she had a boyfriend. O’Leary persisted for quite some time, but eventually backed off with a positive result.

“I stopped asking for a few weeks, and — wouldn’t you know it — that’s when she got a little bit interested,” O’Leary remarked. “My roommates and I were throwing a huge party and, unbeknownst to me, Linda got herself on the invite list… We hit it off immediately, just like I knew we would. After that night, Linda and I were an item. The other guy she’d been dating was toast.”

Kevin ‘Mr. Wonderful’ O’Leary recommends a long courtship

In his 2015 book, the Shark Tank investor advises couples to avoid rushing to the altar. O’Leary used his dating tenure with Linda as an example.

“Our courtship was very simple,” O’Leary wrote. “Linda and I were united in a common purpose: to enjoy our time together without worrying about our finances. … Linda and I dated for six years before we got married. We broke up once in the middle before getting back together a few months later.”

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By getting to know each other in their courting days, O’Leary felt they avoided future conflicts once they tied the knot.

“We weren’t starry-eyed kids rushing full tilt down the aisle,” he explained. “We had tested our relationship, figured out our core compatibilities, and made a plan for a partnership that would last.”

Now married for over 30 years, O’Leary added, “We must have done something right.”