Thomas H. Lee, a billionaire financier, committed suicide. On Thursday, the 78-year-old businessman was found dead in his office building on New York’s 5th Avenue.
The office of the New York City Medical Examiner told PEOPLE on Friday that the financier killed himself with a gun. A spokesperson tells that it has been officially ruled that he killed himself.
The father of five was married to Anne Tenenbaum for 27 years. He was known for being good at business and giving back to the community.
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Thursday, Lee’s friend Michael Sitrick confirmed that he had died on behalf of Lee’s family. He said that Lee was someone who “put the needs of others before his own.” Sitrick in a statement to the BBC said –
“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.”
Chicago Business says that he started his career in 1974 when he ran the Boston-based firm Thomas H. Lee Partners and helped invest $12 billion. This led him to start the New York-based firm Lee Equity Partners.
By 2020, he had invested a total of $15 billion, and Forbes says that when he died, he was worth $2 billion. In 1996, he gave $22 million to Harvard University, where he went to school. According to BBC, Lee said of his donation (aforementioned) –
“I’ve been lucky to make some money. I’m more than happy to give some of it back.”
The news source said that some of the money was used to help students get financial aid.