The nephew of Revlon Cosmetics industry magnate Charles Revson, he was an heir to his father Martin's fortune (reportedly worth over $1 billion).
Described as a "free spirit" that passed up an easy life for one of speed and danger. Off the track, he led his life at the same accelerated pace. Revson piloted a 32-foot (9.8 m) ChrisCraft and courted some of the most beautiful women in the world, including fashion model and 1973 Miss World, Marjorie Wallace. He had met Wallace at the Indianapolis 500; she was an Indianapolis native who was referred to as the "Hoosier Hotshot."
In 1971 and became the first American to win the Can-Am Championship. That same season he finished second in the Indianapolis 500 after posting the fastest qualifying time. He competed in the Indy 500 each year from 1969-1973. He won the British Grand Prix and Canadian Grand Prix in 1973, before moving to Shadow in 1974. He is the last American born driver to win a Formula One race (Mario Andretti, who won in later years, is a naturalized American).
During a practice run for the 1974 South African Grand Prix in Kyalami, he was killed as a result of suspension failure on his Shadow Ford DN3.