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    Thomas H. Lee, Billionaire Financier & Investor, Found Dead from Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound


    Billionaire financier and investor Thomas H. Lee was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Manhattan office on Thursday morning, police sources said.[0] Lee, 78, was pronounced dead at the scene, having suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound that was discovered by a female assistant who had gone to look for him after not hearing from him all morning.[1]

    Lee was a pioneer in private equity and leveraged buyouts, founding Thomas H. Lee Partners in 1974 before leaving in 2006 to create Lee Equity Partners. He served as chairman of Lee Equity until his death. According to his company biography, Lee invested more than $15 billion in hundreds of transactions over 46 years, including the purchase and subsequent sales of such brand names as Snapple Beverages and Warner Music.[1] It is said that he was among the initial financiers to make use of borrowed capital to acquire companies, now known as a “leveraged buyout.”[1]

    One of Lee's most notable transactions was the 1992 purchase of Snapple for $135 million.[2] After investing only $28 million of its own money, Lee sold it to Chicago's Quaker Oats Co. for $1.7 billion two years later after boosting revenue from $95 million a year to $750 million.[3]

    At the time of his death, Lee had a net worth of roughly $2 billion, according to Forbes.[4] He is survived by his wife, Ann Tenenbaum, and his five children, including two from a previous marriage.[5]

    The Wall Street Journal reported that Lee was found in his Manhattan office with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[6] Officers responded to a 911 call placed Thursday morning by Lee’s office assistant.[7]

    Lee was known for his philanthropy, particularly for the arts and education, having served as a trustee for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, NYU Langone Medical Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among other organizations.[2]

    Scott Sperling, Tom's former business partner, expressed to The Daily Beast that Tom was a remarkable person. He was a leader in private equity and was highly regarded by the industry. He was a warm and generous individual who was devoted to his family and community.[8] Forbes wrote in a 1997 profile that Lee was “that rare thing on Wall Street — a genuinely nice guy.[2]

    0. “Billionaire financier Thomas H. Lee found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound in NYC office: sources” msnNOW, 23 Feb. 2023,

    1. “US Billionaire Thomas Lee Dies By Suicide In Office” Greatandhra, 25 Feb. 2023,

    2. “Billionaire New York financier found dead in Manhattan office” AOL, 24 Feb. 2023,

    3. “Thomas Lee, Billionaire Private Equity Deals Pioneer, Dies at 78” Crain's Chicago Business, 24 Feb. 2023,

    4. “Billionaire financier Thomas H. Lee found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound in NYC office: sources” New York Post , 23 Feb. 2023,

    5. “Who is Thomas H Lee’s wife Ann Tenenbaum?…” The US Sun, 24 Feb. 2023,

    6. “Billionaire Thomas Lee dies at 78” The Hill, 24 Feb. 2023,

    7. “Billionaire, Former Warner Music Board Member Thomas H. Lee Dead at 78 – Billboard” Billboard, 25 Feb. 2023,

    8. “Thomas H. Lee, founder of namesake private equity firm, dies at 78” Pensions & Investments, 24 Feb. 2023,

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