A billionaire financier and investor was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his office in New York City on Thursday.
Thomas H. Lee was confirmed dead in a statement released by his family. He was 78.
Police responded to Lee’s office at 767 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan around 11:10 a.m. His firm, Thomas H. Lee Capital, LLC is located on the sixth floor of the building.
Lee, a Harvard graduate, had a net worth of roughly $2 billion at the time of his death, according to Forbes.
Billionaire financier and investor Thomas H. Lee, 78, pictured here with his wife Ann Tenenbaum in 2019, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Thursday
Lee, the co-founder and chairman of Lee Equity Partners LLC, is pictured in his office in New York, on March 8, 2019
The New York Post reported that police had found the billionaire’s body at the office. EMTs pronounced him dead at the scene.
Lee’s official cause of death will be determined by the Chief Medical Examiner.
Family friend and spokesperson Michael Sitrick released a statement about Lee’s death on Thursday on behalf of the family:
‘The family is extremely saddened by Tom’s death. While the world knew him as one of the pioneers in the private equity business and a successful businessman, we knew him as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, sibling, friend and philanthropist who always put others’ needs before his own.
‘Our hearts are broken. We ask that our privacy be respected and that we be allowed to grieve.’
Lee was the founder and chairman of Lee Equity and had served as chairman and CEO of Thomas H. Lee Partners, according to the Lee Equity website.
He founded his firm in 1974, and is credited with being one of the early pioneers in private equity and specifically leveraged buyouts.
Lee was the founder and chairman of Lee Equity and had served as chairman and CEO of Thomas H. Lee Partners, according to the Lee Equity website
The NYPD responded to 767 Fifth Avenue — where Thomas H. Lee Capital, LLC is located on the sixth floor — around 11:10 a.m. and found Lee’s body, it was reported
The businessman may be best known for the sale of Snapple for $1.7 billion in 1994, and then selling it two years later for $1.7 billion, a return of 32 times equity.
Lee resigned from Thomas H. Lee Partners in 2006 and later that year formed Lee Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused more on growth capital transactions than the leveraged buyouts favored by THL, it was reported. He served as chairman until his death.
Just last week, it was announced that former Willis Towers Watson CEO John Haley had been appointed as an Executive Partner in the firm’s Financial Technology and Services investment group, Business Wire reported.
Michael Bloomberg, Ann Tenenbaum, Thomas H. Lee attend a gala in NYC in 2015
Thomas H Lee, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Diana Taylor, Barbara Haskell, and Donna De Salvo as they attend the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Inaugural Dinner in 2015
Photography’s Last Century: Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection is a collection of 60 photographs in honor of the Met’s 150th anniversary in 2020
Lee has been married twice – first to Barbara Fish Lee, in 1968. They had two children, Zach and Robbie, before divorcing in 1995.
He married his second wife Ann Tenenbaum of Savannah, Georgia in 1997 and they had three children: Jesse, Nathan, and Rosalie. He also has two grandchildren.
Lee was a good friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton and in June 2008, following Hillary’s unsuccessful presidential run, the couple reportedly stayed at his East Hampton home.
Over the past 46 years, Lee was responsible for investing more than $15 billion of capital in hundreds of transactions, including the acquisition and subsequent sales of such brand names as Snapple Beverages and Warner Music.
He was also known as a philanthropist and trustee who served on the boards of many organizations, including the Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, Brandeis University, Harvard University and the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk