What you need to know about Robert F. Smith: his equity, Vista Equity and more


That's up to $ 40 million, a historically black college spokesman told CNN.

Here's what you need to know about this 56-year-old billionaire investor.

Smith is the richest black person in the United States, with a net worth of $ 5 billion, according to Forbes. Yes, he is richer than Oprah.

He is the founder of the Vista Equity investment company, which posts $ 46 billion in capital commitments, according to his website. In 2019, Smith was No. 355 on Forbes billionaires list.

Smith is the son of educators who began his career as a chemical engineer at Goodyear and Kraft. He attended a business school at Columbia University and earned a fortune by investing in the technology sector. He worked for Goldman Sachs before creating Vista Equity in 2000.

Smith praised the potential of technology to create capital and wealth for people around the world, as well as to improve lives.

"Intellectual capital has become the new currency of business and finance – and the promise of using intellectual resources to move individuals, families and even whole communities from poverty to prosperity in one generation." Has never been as possible as it is today, "he added. written in an essay for the Giving Pledge.

He warned, however, that not everyone was taking advantage of this potential.

"The potential is not a guarantee of progress," Smith writes in the essay. "We will only seize the breathtaking potential of our age if we create onramps that allow ALL individuals to participate, regardless of their origin, country of origin, religious practice, gender, or skin color. . "

He has a rather generous tendency

Smith strongly believes in early payment.

Prior to the announcement of Sunday student loans, he donated $ 1.5 million to Morehouse College for scholarships and the development of a new park. In 2016, he pledged $ 50 million to Cornell University, one of his alma maters, to support his school of chemical and biomolecular engineering, as well as his black and female engineering students.

In 2017, he signed Giving Pledge, an effort led by billionaires Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, to entice wealthy Americans to donate half of their fortune.

Smith said that he would invest half his net worth while living in the service of equal opportunity for black Americans and the environment, while his wife, the model Hope Dworaczyk Smith , would be dedicated to helping children.

He is one of the founding donors of the National Museum of Afro-American History and Culture and has committed $ 20 million to the museum before it opens.

He is also founder and chairman of the Fund II Foundation, which provides grants for causes such as human rights, the environment, music education and the preservation of music. African-American experience ".

He is married to a playboy playmate

In 2015, Smith married the model Hope Dworaczyk at a lavish ceremony on the Amalfi Coast, Italy, with performances by John Legend, Seal and Brian McKnight.

Dworaczyk was named Playboy 's Playboy Playmate in 2010 and was the host and co – producer of the Canadian "Inside Fashion" show on E!

The couple has two children together and Smith has three other children from a previous marriage.

Eliott McLaughlin from CNN contributed to this report.

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