American billionaire financier Thomas H. Lee dies at 78


American billionaire financier Thomas H. Lee died at the age of 78.

According to the media reports, the news has been confirmed by the family of Thomas H. Lee in a statement on Thursday, without noting the cause of his death.

American billionaire financier Thomas H. Lee, considered a pioneer of private equity investment and leveraged buyouts, was discovered dead on Thursday morning at his Fifth Avenue Manhattan office, headquarters of his investment firm, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found after police responded to an emergency-911 call around 11:10 am.

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Reuters could not immediately confirm the cause of death. Emergency medical service personnel responding to a 911 call on Fifth Avenue at about that time found a “male who was pronounced dead at the scene,” the New York Police Department said without giving further details, adding that the city medical examiner’s office would determine the cause and manner of death.

Thomas H. Lee said in the statement, “The family is extremely saddened by Tom’s death. Our hearts are broken. We ask that our privacy be respected and that we be allowed to grieve.”

Thomas H. Lee was the founder and chairman of Lee Equity, formed in 2006, and previously served as chairman and CEO of Thomas H. Lee Partners, founded in 1974, according to a biographical statement released by his family.

It is pertinent to mention here that Thomas H. Lee was responsible for investing more than $15 billion of capital in hundreds of transactions over the past 46 years, including the acquisition and subsequent sales of such brand names as Snapple Beverages and Warner Music.

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