WOW! Billionaire Hedge Fund Tycoon John Paulson Donates US$100 Million for Central Park
Paulson, 56, is founder of Paulson & Co., a New York-based hedge fund that manages $21 billion across 10 funds. Paulson was worth $11.8 billion yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. His contribution will help renovate and maintain park facilities and pay for recreation programs, said Doug Blonsky, president of the conservancy, which is responsible for its maintenance and operations. Half will bolster the park’s endowment, which now stands at $144 million, Blonsky said.
“Central Park is a paradise unlike anywhere else in the world today,” said Paulson, whose Fifth Avenue apartment faces the park’s east side and overlooks its reservoir. “I wanted the amount to make a difference.”
Queens ProductPaulson was raised in the middle-class Beechhurst section of Bayside, in New York’s Queens borough. As a child, his parents took him through the park in a stroller, he said. He was valedictorian at New York University and attended Harvard Business School.
After working in risk arbitrage at Bear Stearns Cos., Odyssey Partners and Gruss Partners, Paulson founded Paulson & Co. in 1994, with $2 million from friends and family.
Paulson in 2009 donated $20 million to New York University Stern School of Business and the following year, along with his wife, Jenny, donated $5 million to Southampton Hospital in New York, which named an emergency department after them.
Paulson also donated $15 million to a children’s and maternity hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, according to a Nov. 21, 2010 statement.
The nonprofit Central Park Conservancy was founded in 1980, according to its website. Its mission was to restore America’s foremost urban public space to the condition envisioned by its 19th-century designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. In 1998, the Conservancy and the city of New York signed a management agreement formalizing their then 18-year public- private partnership.
“Central Park has an enormous economic impact on our city -- 40 million annual visitors generating $1 billion in economic activity -- and that’s in large part due to the great work of the Central Park Conservancy, the Parks Department and the New York City Police Department, who have worked together since 1980 to restore Central Park to its glory and take it to new heights,'' Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a prepared statement. The mayor is founder and majority of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.