Almost no American has ever heard of John Paulson, a billionaire who made money the new way, not by building anything but by engaging in financial engineering. Those who have heard of Mr. Paulson are not impressed by him as a person, his money notwithstanding.
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
But now Mr. Paulson has given the largest gift ever to a public park.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Central Park Conservancyannounced on Tuesday that the hedge fund billionaire John A. Paulson, along with the Paulson Family Foundation, were giving $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy. It is believed to be the largest gift ever to a public park.
Even more incredible, the motivation for the gift seems to be pure love of the park,
When asked at the news conference what prompted the gift, Mr. Paulson said: “Walking through the park in different seasons, it kept coming back that in my mind Central Park is the most deserving of all of
’s cultural institutions. And I
wanted the amount to make a difference. The park is very large, and its
endowment is relatively small.” New York
something that ordinary people feel everyday but a feeling that would seem to be alien to billionaires most of whom see the open space as a big development opportunity.
So nice going Mr. Paulson, and the next time this Forum wants to criticize you and hold you up to ridicule, well, we’ll still do it but we will feel a little bit bad about doing so.