Barry Hearn was born in 1949 in Dagenham in Essex. He calls himself a sport entrepreneur and he is the founder and chairman of the sports promotion company Matchroom.
Hearn qualified as a chartered accountant, first worked some years with an international accountant company and then as finance director of Kensal House Investments. After some years in fashion industry and property development he in 1974 became chairman of the Luciano Snooker Clubs. In this position he in 1976 got acquainted with the six-time snooker World Champion Steve Davis and they became close friends. Together they had a big impact in the development of the sport in the 1980s.
Later the Luciano Snooker Clubs were sold to Riley's and Barry Hearn founded together with snooker professionals and with the money from the disposal of the clubs the company Matchroom. One could find players like Davis and Tony Meo and upcoming starts Jimmy White, Cliff Thornburn or Ronnie O'Sullivan under the Matchroom players. Hearn concentrated in the following years in promoting the sport nationally and internationally by bringing it into TV. At the same time he was the manager of some of the snooker players.
When in 2009 the snooker sport was in a crisis the professionals again asked Hearn for help and voted him chairman of the Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. The snooker players not always are in complete agreement with Hearn. Their main accusation is that Hearn disregards the characteristics of the sport and tries instead to produce the same atmosphere as in the Major Darts tournaments.
Hearn who had always been a boxing fan in 1987 took up boxing with Matchroom as well and started to market British and Irish Boxers. Matchroom still is involved in boxing. 2008 Hearn introduced the pizefighter series which is a big success. It was boxing which brought Hearn in contact with sky sport and now-a-days around 7 percent of sky sport's broadcast is Matchroom sports.
After Hearn had succeeded to successfully establish snooker and boxing on TV he had a look at some not as popular sports. 1993 it was nine-ball pool with the Mosconi Cup and beside some other international events the WPA World Pool Championship and the Pool World Cup.
A big success till today is "Fish'O'Mania"- a tough fishing contest in which beside fishing professionals stars of other sports took and still take part like Simon Whitlock, Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis and of course Barry Hearn himself. Till today '"Fish'O'Mania is the only Live fishing event of the world.
Later Hearn included bowling, poker and golf in the sports promoted by Matchroom.
Hearn's involvement with darts begun around 2000 when the PDC players asked him for support. First Matchroom only bought a few shares and mainly tried to get darts on TV. In 2001 Hearn became the main shareholder and was voted chairman of the PDC. Thanks to a lot of innovative ideas Hearn managed to develop darts into a booming sport. The price money still is increasing; the top players are real stars. Hearn always is successful in finding new sponsors. Sky Sport managed to let look darts much better on TV what to be sure helped to the success.
According to Barry Hearn his hobbies are poker, pool, running and golf and golf seems to be his favourite as he always carries his golf clubs with him. Hearn is married and has two children, Katie and Eddie, which are both directors of Matchroom. Eddie Hearn is in the board of directors of the PDC as well.
Beside his other hobbies Barry Hearn has another one which till now only costed him: the football club Leyton Orient, Hearn is its chairman. He took over the club of which he has been a fan since his youth and tries to make ends meet. Till now he always managed it.
His son Eddie is his vice director and as CEO works Matthew Porter. Porter first was the Press-Officer before Hearn made him CEO in 2006. Today Porter is also the CEO of the PDC.