Billionaire financier, 78, is found dead inside Fifth Avenue office: Investor – who was friends with Clintons – died from self-inflicted gunshot wound – as family say ‘our hearts are broken’
A billionaire financier and investor was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his office in New York City.
The death of Thomas H. Lee, 78, was confirmed by his family in a statement released on Thursday.
Police discovered Lee’s body around 11:10 a.m. at his office on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan – where his business Thomas H. Lee Capital, LLC is located.
Lee had a net worth of roughly $2 billion at the time of his death, according to Forbes.
Billionaire financier and investor Thomas H. Lee, 78, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his office on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Thursday
Lee’s death was confirmed by his family in a statement released on Thursday. He’s pictured with his second wife Ann Tenenbaum at the 57th New York Film Festival in 2019
The NYPD responded to 767 Fifth Avenue — where Thomas H. Lee Capital, LLC is located on the sixth floor — around 11:10 a.m. and found Lee’s body, it was reported
Lee was the founder and chairman of Lee Equity and had served as chairman and CEO of Thomas H. Lee Partners, according to the Lee Equity website.
He founded his firm in 1974, and is credited with being one of the early pioneers in private equity and specifically leveraged buyouts.
The businessman may be best known for the sale of Snapple for $1.7 billion in 1994, and then selling it two years later for $1.7 billion, a return of 32 times equity.
Lee has been married twice – first to Barbara Fish Lee, who he divorced in 1995,. His second wife was Ann Tenenbaum of Savannah, Georgia. Lee has five children.
Lee, who was friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton, pictured with the former president years ago
He was a good friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. In June 2008, following Hillary’s unsuccessful presidential run, the couple reportedly stayed at Lee’s East Hampton home.
Family friend and spokesperson Michael Sitrick released a statement about Lee’s death on Thursday on behalf of the family:
‘The family is extremely saddened by Tom’s death. While the world knew him as one of the pioneers in the private equity business and a successful businessman, we knew him as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, sibling, friend and philanthropist who always put others’ needs before his own. Our hearts are broken. We ask that our privacy be respected and that we be allowed to grieve.’