Richest Black Man in America (Mckoy’s News): Billionaire Robert F. Smith was born in Denver, Colorado on December 1, 1962 to schoolteacher parents during the Martin Luther King era. He lived a middle class life and grew up to start a $4.3 billion acquisition company.
Robert F. Smith is the richest black man in America and, the wealthiest African American behind Oprah Winfrey; but the world only learnt about him a few years ago when Smith appeared on the cover of Forbes “Richest Americans” issue.
Smith is the founder of Vista Equity Partners, a firm which acquires unpopular but promising tech companies.
Robert F. Smith’s net worth is an estimated 2.5 billion, making him the 268 richest American.
So what is his story?
Well, Robert F. Smith was bound for success since his youth. The son of Phd parents, Smith applied for an internship at Bell Labs while he was in high school, and when he did not get the position, that was only for junior and senior college students – his determination kicked in. He called the H.R. director at Bell Labs every single day for two weeks. Then moved his calls to every Monday for another five months. His chance finally came when another intern from MIT University did not show up – he got the job that summer.
Smith graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering, while working at Bell Labs during the summer and winter breaks. He continued on to Columbia University to earn an MBA, after which went on to work on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs.
From 1994-2000, Smith headed the Goldman Sachs Enterprise Systems and Storage Investment Banking – advising the company on $50 billion in tech merger and acquisition deals.
He left Goldman Sachs in 2000 to form his own company, Vista Equity Partners. Now 17 years later, Vista grew to nearly $16 billion in assets. His company invest in software and technology companies that are under the radar.
Smith married former Playboy Playmate of the year, Hope Dworaczyk in a lavish star studded ceremony. He rented out the Villa Cimbrone Hotel on Italy’s Amalfi coast for the event. John Legend serenaded his bride as she walked down the isles to her groom. The husband and wife had their first married dance under a lighted sign of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” to the sound to Seal and Brian Mcknight.
The 55-year-old Robert F. Smith also has accolades of Chairman of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Member of Cornell University Engineering College Council, Board Member of Carnegie Hall and Trustee of the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco.
When he is not working he is a sharp fly fisherman. Now that he has been disclosed as the richest black man in America, the world will certainly will keep a keen eye on Mr. Smith and Vista Equity Partners.