Let’s meet Robert Frederick Smith, the richest black man in America with a net worth of $4.4 billion. The quiet billionaire earns much through hard work and high achievement in the software industry.
Smith who was the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs, started a private equity and venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners in 2000 and today, Vista, with over $30 billion in assets under management, is one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, with consistent double-digit returns.
Robert Frederick Smith Biography
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. He trained as an engineer at Cornell University, earning his B.S. in Chemical Engineering.
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-startups.
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.
The business mogul’s success was evident right from his younger days.
After much persistence, Smith, while he was a high school student, enrolled in a program designed for college students. The young man made the program worth the while as he developed a reliability test for semiconductors.
While working as a Chemical engineer with Kraft General Foods, he earned himself 2 patents each from the US and 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. The billionaire has been awarded a good number of humanitarian awards and honours. Smith is a philanthropist who has enormous respect for human rights.
Smith has built a fortune that’s made him one of the nation’s richest men — worth $4.4 billion, according to Forbes 2018 update. He was ranked No. 268 on Forbes’ 2015 list of wealthiest Americans. With a net worth of over two billion dollars at that time, Smith became the second richest African-American after only Oprah Winfrey, No. 211. Today, his earnings have more than doubled, making him the richest Black American.
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 have 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 deprived of business opportunities because of his skin colour.
In 2017, Smith joined The Giving Pledge, which means he will give away half his earnings in charitable donations.
Smith Wife, Children
Smith married Hope Dworaczyk, a former Playboy playmate, healthy living advocate, and fashion editor. The two got married in 2013, in southern France before a crowd of 250 attendees.
He currently has five children, three from a previous marriage and two with Dworaczyk. His first child with Dworaczyk is Hendrix Robert Smith. He was born in December 2014.
Quick Facts About Robert Frederick Smith
|Full name||Robert Frederick Smith|
|Date of Birth||December 1, 1962|
|Company Name:||Vista Equity Partners|
|Parents||Dr. William Robert Smith and Dr. Sylvia Myma Smith|
|Number of Children||5|