Billionaire financier Thomas H. Lee dies at age 78

Billionaire financier Thomas H. Lee, a pioneer of private equity investing, passed away Thursday at the age of 78, his family said in a statement.

Lee died by suicide, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch Friday.

Lee, whose fortune was estimated at $2 billion by Forbes magazine, founded Lee Equity in 2006, which said he had invested more than $15 billion in capital during his 46 years in finance. The financier is perhaps most famous for buying and selling beverage maker Snapple, which bought his company for $135 million in 1992. Two years later, he sold it for $1.7 billion to Quaker Oats Co., making a produced extraordinary returns. his investment.

In their statement, Lee’s family asked for their privacy to be respected.

While the world knew him as one of the pioneers of the private equity business and a successful businessman, we knew him as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, sibling, friend and philanthropist who always put the needs of others before his own. set,” they said. said in the statement.

A Harvard graduate, Lee donated $22 million to his alma mater in 1996, one of the university’s greatest gifts at the time. Lee had served as a trustee at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, NYU Langone Medical Center and the Whitney Museum of American Art, according to Lee Equity.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, you can reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988. You can also chat with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline here.

For more information about mental health resources and support, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline is available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email email info@






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