Michael Steinhardt : biography
Michael H. Steinhardt (born December 7, 1940) is an American hedge fund manager, financier, investor, newspaper publisher, and philanthropist active in Jewish causes. He was one of the first prominent hedge fund managers, and is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He founded Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co., a hedge fund, in 1967. He is "a legend in the story of hedge funds, partly because of his success as a trader but also because of his personality."Sebastian Mallaby (2010). More Money Than God, pg.41
Early life and education
Steinhardt is the son of Sol Frank Steinhardt, a compulsive high-stakes gambler, New York's leading jewel fence (according to then-DA Frank Hogan), and convicted felon. his father was close friends with underworld crime bosses Meyer Lansky, Vincent Alo (aka "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo), and Albert Anastasia (he was out gambling with Anastasia the night before he was killed). Sol, aka "Red McGee," was later convicted on charges of buying and selling stolen jewelry and sentenced to five to ten years in prison. November 08, 2001
Steinhardt went to the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1960. He started his career working for the mutual fund Calvin Bullock and the brokerage firm Loeb, Rhoades & Co. (the precursor to Shearson Loeb Rhoades). Steinhardt's father was his first investment client giving his son envelopes stuffed with cash to put in the stock market giving him seed money to begin his investment career.
In 1967, Streinhardt met his future wife Judy in a car pool he organized. During one of the carpools into New York City, he mentioned the name of the grain elevator company Colorado Milling and Grain Elevator. Judy mentioned the company to her father who invested in the company and made a substantial profit after Colorado Milling was acquired by Great Western Sugar in 1968; the merged company was renamed Great Western United. Judy is the chairwoman of New York University's Institute of Fine Arts and of the American Friends of the Israel Museum. April 04, 2004 They have three children: David, Daniel and Sara. retrieved November 18, 2012 His daughter, Sara, a former journalist and parenting columnist for The New York Sun, is married to South African hedge fund manager David Berman and is the president of the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn. June 15, 2010
Steinhardt has been an active philanthropist, donating over $125 million to Jewish causes. He and Charles Bronfman co-founded Taglit-Birthright Israel, which has to date sent over 220,000 young Jews aged 18–26 on a 10-day trip to Israel without charge.
In the 1990s, Steinhardt gave Steeple Jason Island and Grand Jason Island in the Falkland archipelago to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), along with USD 425,000 for a research station, to be named after himself and his wife.
The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University bears his name in recognition of two $10 million donations.
In 2009 he gave the American Hebrew Academy $5 million. In addition, to help with its fundraising, AHA (American Hebrew Academy) released an advertisement featuring his endorsement.
Steinhardt is also chairman of the board at The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life (formerly Jewish Life Network) and Taglit-Birthright Israel. He also makes public appearances, speaking with young Jewish kids through organizations such as Ezra USA and .
Steinhardt is an art collector, especially of antiquities. Highlights of his Judaica collection are viewable online at . A special exhibition, "Ancient Art of the Cyclades", held at the Katonah Museum of Art included some pieces owned by him. He also sits on the American advisory board of Christie's, the art & antiques auction house.http://www.christies.com/about/company/advisory-board.aspx
In 2001, Steinhardt published an autobiography: "No Bull: My Life in and out of Markets". In this book, he addressed for the first time the question of his father, Sol Frank Steinhardt, who also went by the moniker "Red McGee." "Red" Steinhardt was convicted in 1958 on two counts of buying and selling stolen jewelry, and was sentenced to serve two 5-to-10 year terms, to run consecutively, in the New York State prison system. (He did most of his time at Dannemora, a prison in upstate NY near the Canadian border, but had his sentence reduced to time served after two years due to allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.) Regarded by D.A. Frank Hogan as the number one jewelry fence in New York, "Red," according to No Bull, was an associate of noted underworld figures such as Meyer Lansky, Vincent "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo (incorrectly named "Aiello" in No Bull), and Albert Anastasia (No Bull wrongly refers to him as "Joey".) In No Bull, Steinhardt describes how his father bankrolled his early forays into the stock market by giving him envelopes stuffed with $10,000 in cash and sometimes much more than that. The book also suggests that Steinhardt's education at the Wharton School may have been paid for with illicit funds.Lenzner, Robert, Forbes, November 8, 2001
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