Robert Frederick Smith: African-American’s Second Wealthiest Billionaire



Let’s meet Robert Frederick Smith, the richest black man in America with a net worth of $2.5 billion.

Born on December 1, 1962 in Denvor, Colorado, Smith was the son of parents who were well educated school teachers. With a background like that, the young brilliant Smith had an interest in academics.

Robert Frederick Smith serves as a member of the board for Columbia business school and chairman of the board for Carnegie Hall, where he has made history as the first African American to hold the office.

Smith is best described as a businessman, investor and philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners.

He is the richest black man in America and the second wealthiest African-American after Oprah Winfrey.

Smith’s equity company was founded in 2017. Beyond reasonable doubt, it is a leading private equity firm which is devoted to supporting tech-start ups.

With branches in 6 states in the US, Vista Equity manages equity capital commitments worth billions of dollars. He is the majority shareholder of Vista’s management company.

They buy and sell small software companies; and see to the portfolio of over 30 software companies which altogether employs a combined approximately 30,000 people globally.

Robert Frederick Smith became a millionaire at the age of 35 years old. 15 years later, he became a billionaire.

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The business mogul’s success was evident right from his younger days.

After much persistence, Smith while he was a high school student enrolled for a program designed for college students. The young man made the program worth the while as he developed a reliability test for semiconductors.

He graduated from the Cornell University with a degree in Chemical Engineering.



While working as a Chemical engineer with Krafy General foods, he earned himself 2 patents each from the US and the Europe.

In time he also worked as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs.

Robert Frederick smith has been a vibrant figure in the technology sectors.

“I got hooked on technology. The excitement of figuring a complex problem out creates a eureka moment. It’s one of the best moments in life.”

The billionaire has been awarded with a good number of humanitarian awards and honors. Smith is a philanthropist who has enormous respect for human rights.

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In 2013, the management of Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture made a financial request and the wealthy man replied generously.

Low profile billionaire, Robert Frederick Smith donated $20 million; making him the 2nd highest private donor to the African American Museum to the art institution while Oprah leads with $21 million.

The Chemical Engineer by profession attributes his generosity to the philanthropic habits of his parents. He recalled moments when his mother would set aside a $25 check for her monthly contribution to the United Negro College Fund.

Recall that a while ago smith offered to educate 24 of the recently released Chibok girls in Nigeria.

His philanthropic causes over time has remained quiet.

For fear of racial discrimination, Smith chose to launch his business under the anonymous bases. According to him he did not want to be derived of business opportunities because of his skin color.