UPDATE: New details about billionaire financier Thomas Lee’s shocking suicide emerged Friday, including how he was discovered in his office bathroom with a single gunshot wound to his head and his Smith & Wesson revolver next to him, police sources told New York Post.
According to the police, a billionaire investor was found dead in a suspected suicide at his Manhattan office on Thursday. Thomas H. Lee was identified as the individual who had passed away in a statement from his family, Daily Mail reported.
Billionaire financer Thomas Lee found dead in an apparent suicide
At approximately 11:10 a.m., police responded to Lee’s sixth-floor office in Manhattan, where his firm, Thomas H. Lee Capital, LLC, is situated. Upon arrival, authorities found the 78-year-old’s body. The reports also mention a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Lee was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene by EMTs. The Chief Medical Examiner will determine the exact cause of his death.
A spokesperson for the family, Michael Sitrick, released a statement on Thursday expressing their deep sadness over the loss of Tom.
“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,” Sitrick said.
“Our hearts are broken. We ask that our privacy be respected and that we be allowed to grieve,” he added.
Forbes estimates that Lee had a net worth of approximately $2 billion at the time of his passing. Lee was a Harvard graduate and achieved tremendous success in his career. His exceptional technique and success were viewed as the envy of Wall Street.
During the 1990s, Lee was famous for his leveraged-buyout deals, which were pioneering financial transactions. In some instances, these deals enabled his company to generate over 30-fold gains in just a few years.
Lee was close friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton
According to reports, Lee had a close relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton and had opened his East Hampton residence to them in June 2008 after Hillary’s unsuccessful presidential campaign.
Throughout his career, the wealthy financier was responsible for investing more than $15 billion in purchase and sale of well-known brands like Warner Music.
He was also recognized for his philanthropy work. And served as a trustee for various organizations such as Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, Harvard University, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage.