Billionaire Robert F. Smith received an honorary doctorate degree at Morehouse College’s 135th Commencement exercise, where he delivered the commencement address before delivering a $40million announcement, that he was taking care of the student loan balance for the nearly 400 graduating men. You should know that the billionaire businessman and investor also has a heart for philanthropy and has been fairly humble, considering his contribution to society. 10 things you should know:
Smith was named the world’s richest African-American man by Forbes in 2015. (And the worlds 268th richest man.) Then valued at $2.5billion, curently, valued at $5billion.
His youngest sons, ‘Hendrix’ and ‘Legend’ are named after Jimi Hendrix and John Legend
Smith became the first African American named as chairman of Carnegie Hall, the nation’s most prestigious concert stage (He grew up playing and now owns one of Elton John’s old pianos!)
His company, Vista Equity Partners, started a foundation, the Fund II Foundation; giving commencement addresses; and donating money. When he donated $50million to his alma mater, Cornell, it renamed its School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering after him.
Smith worked for Goldmah Sachs. He left the company in 1999, beginning his company, Vista Equity Partners, a year later in 2000.
When the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opened, he made the second-highest private donation of $20million, led by Oprah, with her donation of $21million
Smith is the chairman of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights and is a trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America-San Francisco
His company, Vista Equity Partners, has over $46billion in assets and posts annualized return of 22% since inception, currently averaging 30% returns.
Smith is the first African-American to sign the Giving Pledge, a commitment to contribute the majority of his wealth to philanthropic causes.
He takes time to enjoy his life 5 kids and enjoys fly fishing.