The tragic suicide of L.B.O. pioneer Thomas H. Lee, last week, has rattled the cloistered world of finance. We may never know why he decided to take his own life, but Tom did leave behind a long, complex legacy to consider. In this issue of Dry Powder, a meditation on a life cut short.
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Ever since the L.B.O. pioneer was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Wall Street has been buzzing—trying to figure out why someone who seemed to have it all would take such a drastic action.
Given the shocking nature of the sudden death of Thomas H. Lee last week—by suicide, reportedly from a single gunshot wound to the head from a Smith & Wesson revolver—the paeans to the 78-year-old buyout titan have come fast and furious. He was found shortly after 11 a.m. last Thursday morning by his assistant in the bathroom off his sixth-floor private office in the General Motors building on Fifth Avenue, a skyscraper that Donald Trump once owned and that houses such tenants as Estee Lauder, the cosmetics empire, Weil Gotshal, the law firm, and Perella Weinberg, the boutique investment bank. Another buyout pioneer, Forstmann Little & Co., had its office on the 44th floor of the building once upon a time...