Don Valentine

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Don Valentine
Don Valentine in 2009.jpg
Valentine in 2009
Born(1932-06-26)June 26, 1932
DiedOctober 25, 2019(2019-10-25) (aged 87)
Alma materFordham University
OccupationVenture Capitalist

Donald Thomas Valentine (June 26, 1932 – October 25, 2019) was an American venture capitalist who concentrated mainly on technology companies in the United States.[1] He had been referred to as the "grandfather of Silicon Valley venture capital".[2][3] The Computer History Museum credited him as playing "a key role in the formation of a number of industries such as semiconductors, personal computers, personal computer software, digital entertainment and networking."[4]

Career[edit]

Valentine grew up in the Bronx, New York, was Catholic, and came from a family with Danish background. He went to Mount Saint Michael Academy.[5] After graduating with a B.A. from Fordham University,[6] Valentine began his career as a sales engineer at Raytheon. He was in the position for less than a year before moving on to Fairchild Semiconductor, where he built up the sales force for seven years. He left and joined National Semiconductor, working as a senior sales and marketing executive.[3][7][8]

In 1972, Valentine founded venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.[3][9] Initially, the company focused on early venture investments with small, risky tech companies.[10] Sequoia's first investment was in Atari in 1975 before the company was sold for $28 million to Warner Communications.[11] Sequoia was one of the original investors of Apple Computer and Atari after Valentine met Steve Jobs when he was a line engineer for Atari,[12][13] and in 1978, Sequoia invested $150,000 in Apple Inc.[14] Sequoia Capital has also made early investments in companies including LSI Logic, Oracle Corporation, Cisco, Electronic Arts, Google, YouTube and many others.[1]

Valentine was a chairman of NetApp and Traiana. He served on the boards of many other technology companies including Apple, Atari, C-Cube, Cisco Systems, Electronic Arts, Linear Technology, LSI Logic, Microchip Technology, NetApp, Oracle, PMC-Sierra.[9][15] Valentine was featured in the documentary film Something Ventured which premiered in 2011.[16]

Death[edit]

Valentine died on October 25, 2019 at age 87.[17] He is survived by three children and seven grandchildren who all live in the Bay Area.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Donald T. Valentine". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on October 28, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  2. ^ Gilbert, Alorie (November 27, 2004). "Legendary venture capitalist looks ahead". CNET News. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Karlgaard, Rich (December 9, 2005). "Don Valentine, Venture Capitalist". Forbes. Archived from the original on September 4, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  4. ^ "Donald T. Valentine". Computer History Museum. Archived from the original on August 15, 2011.
  5. ^ "Legends". Mount Saint Michael Academy. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "Donald T. Valentine – Executive Bio, Compensation History, and Contacts – Equilar Atlas". people.equilar.com. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Ingram, Matthew (October 14, 2010). "Lessons From Silicon Valley VC Legend Don Valentine". Gigaom. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  8. ^ "Donald T. Valentine | Computer History Museum". www.computerhistory.org. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Donald T. Valentine: Executive Profile & Biography – Businessweek". Businessweek.com. Archived from the original on January 7, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  10. ^ too-far/ Sequoia branches too far Archived January 24, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Adam Lashinsky, October 23, 2009, Fortune, retrieved August 24, 2016
  11. ^ A History of Silicon Valley by Arun Rao, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010.
  12. ^ Something Ventured' tells story of tech investors Archived March 10, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Julian Guthrie, April 18, 2011, SFGate, retrieved March 23, 2016
  13. ^ Return to the Little Kingdom by Michael Moritz, 2009, The Overlook Press.
  14. ^ A History of Silicon Valley by Arun Rao, 2010, Cambridge: MIT Press.
  15. ^ "Sequoia – Donald Valentine". Sequoia Capital. Archived from the original on October 27, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  16. ^ Rao, Leena. "Something Ventured: VC Titans Don Valentine And Tom Perkins Will Take The Stage At Disrupt SF". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on May 28, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  17. ^ Griffith, Erin (October 25, 2019). "Don Valentine, Founder of Sequoia Capital, Is Dead at 87". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 28, 2019. Retrieved October 28, 2019.

External links[edit]