Deborah spent her early career as a high school math teacher before marrying her first husband and dabbling in the California real estate market, purchasing, renovating and flipping properties in Los Angeles. After her divorce, Deborah moved back to the East coast and, following her marriage to uber-lawyer Allen Grubman, took a job at boutique brokerage Alice Mason. In 2001, she defected to Corcoran and now routinely sells over $150 million a year in co-ops, condos, and townhouses. Grubman partners on most of her sales with Corcoran's Carol Cohen.
Deborah's connections to the city's biggest moguls—thanks, of course, to her husband—have made her one of the most prominent brokers in town. She helped Lyor Cohen buy his East 94th Street townhouse just after her husband represented Cohen in the sale of Def Jam to Universal. Another longtime Allen client, Tommy Mottola, turned to Deborah to sell his East 64th Street pad for $20 million in 2003. Other clients have included Martha Stewart, Harvey Weinstein, Lachlan Murdoch, and Rupert Murdoch, whose SoHo triplex she sold to fashion designer Elie Tahari for $24.6 million in 2004. More recently, she sold Vera Wang's 12-room at 778 Park to Ira Rennert's daughter Tamara Winn. These days Grubman is working with her Corcoran colleague Sharon Baum to sell apartments at 995 Fifth, the old Stanhope Hotel, which developer Gary Barnett has converted into luxury condos.
Formerly known as Deborah Haimoff, she tied the knot with Grubman in 1991; the Robert Isabell-designed wedding took place at the New York Public Library. (Although the library had a no-wedding policy at the time, it made an exception after Grubman made a "substantial" contribution.) Guests included Mariah Carey, John Mellencamp, Madonna, David Geffen, and Robert De Niro. In addition to two kids Deborah had with her first husband (including a son, Dan, who worked for Allen at his law firm), the well-surgerized broker is stepmother to Allen's two daughters, Lizzie Grubman and her sister Jenny.
The Grubmans live on Park Avenue and also own a condo at 200 Chambers Street, which they purchased for $3.07 million in 2007. (Deborah was responsible for selling many of the units in the Burton Resnick-owned building.) The couple spends summer weekends on Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton, not far from Martha Stewart, Mort Zuckerman, and Starbucks capo Howard Schultz.