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Thomas Lee Is Remembered by Milken, Kraft as Wall Street Trailblazer

The private equity pioneer, who died last week by self-inflicted gunshot wound, evokes memories of being generous with both his time and money.

Thomas H. Lee
Thomas H. Lee

Source: Thomas H. Lee Capital / Lee Equity Partners

Thomas H. Lee began his senior year of Harvard setting up a table with a sign: “Meet Tom Lee.” 

That was his novel presence at registration day for extracurricular clubs like chess, Shakespeare and astrophysics. Lee, according to family lore, was looking for a girlfriend (and, the story goes, found one). Inevitably, he also put himself out there to gather interesting and interested people — the kind who’d approach such a booth with optimistic curiosity — into his orbit.