American Billionaire Thomas H. Lee Found Dead At 78

(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Lincoln Center)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Billionaire financier Thomas H. Lee was discovered dead Thursday in a Manhattan office building.

Law enforcement were called to Lee’s sixth floor offices in Manhattan late Thursday morning where the 78-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, the New York Post reported. Lee died from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police sources told the New York Post, however an official cause of death has not yet been released.

A pioneer of private equity, Lee is one of the first ever financiers to engage in a leveraged buyout, wherein an individual purchases a company with money borrowed against the business being bought, the New York Post noted. He graduated from Harvard, and went on to found his firm in 1974.

He purchased the popular drinks company Snapple in 1992 and sold it just two years later for a whopping $1.7 billion, making 32 times on his investment. “I’ve been lucky to make some money. I’m more than happy to give some of it back,” Lee said in 1996 shortly after donating $22 million to Harvard University, one of the largest ever received by the institution. (RELATED: Majority Of Americans Know The Economy Is Tanking, Despite Biden’s Propaganda)

In 2005, Lee’s partners split and he went on to form Lee Equity Partners a year later and served as Chairman until his death on Thursday. He was worth an estimated $2 billion. He leaves behind his wife of 27-years, five children and two grandchildren.

A medical examiner is expected to determine his official cause of death, the BBC noted.