10 Things You Didn’t Know About David Bonderman

David Bonderman is a name that has ridden to prominence on the waves of investment and corporate acquisition. As a founding partner of TPG Capital, one of the world’s leading private investment firms, Bonderman has earned a reputation for his smart and strategic financial moves alongside a net worth estimated in the billions. However, there is much more to this man than meets the eye. So, let’s delve beyond the boardroom and uncover 10 things you didn’t know about David Bonderman.

1. Taught Law at Tulane University

Before he made a mark in the world of finance, David Bonderman had a budding career in academia. He taught law at Tulane University and was a special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General. This period of his life played a significant role in shaping his precision and attention to detail, characteristics that would later be instrumental in his phenomenal success as an investor.

Bonderman’s time at Tulane University is a testament to his intellectual prowess. It is during this time that he developed a deep understanding of the law, government policy, and their implications on business and investment – knowledge that he would later apply as an investor and businessman.

2. Earned His Fortune on His Own

David Bonderman rose from a modest childhood to become a self-made billionaire. He did not inherit his wealth. Instead, he built his fortune through calculated investments and business decisions. This journey started in his early law career, where he learned the intricacies of finance and business law.

His first major financial win happened when he bought a controlling stake in Continental Airlines in the early ’90s, transforming it through a highly-successful restructuring plan. This investment solidified Bonderman’s reputation and formed the cornerstone of his self-earned fortune.

3. An Avid Collector

Bonderman’s success in the business world has fueled another passion: his love for collecting art. He owns an extensive art collection that includes pieces from renowned artists across various genres and periods. This passion goes beyond just amassing these treasured pieces, as he has been known to sponsor exhibitions featuring artists from his collection.

His fondness for art does not stop with paintings and sculptures. Bonderman is also a collector of antique carpets, demonstrating his taste for history and culture and his talent for identifying items of enduring value.

4. Philanthropic Efforts

Despite his immense wealth, David Bonderman hasn’t forgotten about giving back to society. He is a well-known philanthropist who has contributed millions to various causes, including education, wildlife conservation, and healthcare. His charitable organization, The Wildcat Foundation, has made significant strides in wildlife protection initiatives across the globe.

Bonderman’s philanthropic efforts extend to his alma mater, the University of Washington, where he funded the creation of the Bonderman Travel Fellowship. This initiative allows selected students to undertake travel and exploration experiences that foster individual growth and learning.

5. Brought the NHL to Seattle

In 2018, David Bonderman made headlines when he became a part of the ownership team that brought the National Hockey League (NHL) to Seattle. Being a long-time sports fan, this was undoubtedly a thrilling accomplishment for him. Now, the city’s team, the Seattle Kraken, is the 32nds team in the NHL and will start competing in the 2021 season.

Bonderman’s involvement in the NHL venture shows his continual commitment and dedication to advancing and enriching the city of Seattle. It’s a testament to his love for sports and his endeavor to give back to the community.

6. His Remarkable Birthday Parties

Famous for throwing elaborate birthday parties, Bonderman spares no expense when celebrating his milestones. His 60th birthday bash in 2002 stands out for featuring live performances by Robin Williams and The Rolling Stones. His 70th was equally extravagant with performances by Paul McCartney and John Fogerty. Bonderman uses these occasions to celebrate life while also contributing to charitable causes, with attendees often donating to made-to-measure charities.

7. Education Background

David Bonderman’s solid education background contributed significantly to his success. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian from the University of Washington and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1966. His time at these institutions carved his intellect, critical thinking skills, and business acumen.

8. Strong Family Man

Despite his busy schedule and various commitments, Bonderman is a devoted family man. He is married to Laurie Michaels, a clinical psychologist, and has five children. He prioritizes spending quality time with his family whenever possible.

9. Was an Attorney

Before entering the complex world of private equity investment, Bonderman started off as an attorney. He served in the U.S. Attorney General’s Office under the presidency of Richard Nixon. This stint provided Bonderman with an invaluable understanding of legal frameworks useful in his subsequent business ventures.

10. Professional Achievements

David Bonderman’s professional life is indeed extraordinary. His biggest achievements are founding TPG Capital, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, and co-founding Texas Pacific Group (now TPG Capital), which currently manages over $103 billion. These accomplishments cement Bonderman in the annals of financial and business success.

This journey through David Bonderman’s life illuminates a multifaceted story of success, resilience, hard work, and dedication. From academia to high-stakes finance, Bonderman’s contributions as an entrepreneur, collector, sports fan, philanthropist, and family man paint a more comprehensive picture of his success.

View more about David Bonderman at his TPG Capital bio here and his Wildcat Foundation here.